Shakur Stevenson questions whether Mick Conlan really was ‘robbed’ in Rio


Shakur Stevenson [6(3)-0] is planting seeds which could blossom into a massive Michael Conlan fight.

A clash between the Rio Olympic silver medallist and the London Olympic bronze medallist and World Amateur champion have been mooted ever since Stevenson followed Conlan [6(5)-0] onto the books of Top Rank.

It’s always been discussed as a clash for much further down the line, with Top Rank boss Bob Arum predicting a 2022 clash which would rival the likes of Marvin Hagler v Tommy Hearns.

There have been a few, very faint, verbal jabs thrown from both sides over the past year and the American has recently come out with some statements which could add a bit of spice to the inevitable meeting.

The 20-year-old, who like the younger of the two boxing Conlan brothers is entering his second year as a pro, has questioned the infamous ‘Rio robbery’.

Stevenson Belfast fighter would have met in the 2016 semi-final had Conlan not been on the end of a controversial quarter-final decision versus Vladimir Nikitin, who was so badly hurt after the bout that he was forced to pull out of his clash with the Newark native.

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Russian Nikitin recently signed with Top Rank and, along with the two-part Broken Rings series, the topic of the Conlan fight has re-emerged.

While Stevenson sympathises with Conlan, he doesn’t see the major issue surrounding a fight which took over boxing at the Games in Brazil.

“I can’t think it was that big of a robbery,” Stevenson told NJ.com.

“He had a tough fight and lost on a tough decision – that happens in boxing.”

The New Jersey youngster, who is managed by two-weight world champ Andre Ward, believes that he already has the edge over Conlan and, if and when they do meet, the result of their pro fight is a foregone conclusion.

“I think [Conlan] knows deep down that he can’t beat me,” he added.

Stevenson was speaking ahead of his sixth pro fight which took place last night in Philadelphia.

The American stopped Roxberg Riley in the second round of their clash on the Magdaleno-Dogboe undercard, downing his opponent with a straight southpaw left and having the bout waved off when he rushed in at the resumption of hostilities.

Riley brought an attractive 12-0 record into the eight-round bout – however, this perhaps misrepresented him as it was largely padded with poor-quality opponents.

That being said, much like Conlan’s win over David Berna last month, it looked to be his most impressive pro performance yet.

Stevenson will now fight on the Horn-Crawford undercard in Las Vegas on June 9th.

Conlan will box next at the Madison Square Garden Arena on May 12th on the Linares-Lomachenko undercard before headlining his homecoming bill at the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast on June 30th.

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