Stevenson compares Cully to 80s wrestler as he recalls hotel hallway spar

Shakur Stevenson is open to playing David to the Goliath that is Gary Cully.

The Matchroom lightweight mentioned the Top Rank superstar as a future big-name opponent when he was speaking to Boxingscene this week.

The son of Sarto explained how he looked out for the American ever since a tense spar as underage amateurs back in 2011 – and now Stevenson has entered the lightweight mix it’s a ‘mega fight’ he can see happening.

Stevenson also recalls coming across Cully in Russia over a decade ago, pointing out he sparred the Irish Boxing Awards KO, Fighter and Performance of the Year nominee in a hotel hallway – and stating he wouldn’t mind a re-run in a more conventional setting.

Recounting his version of their first meeting the 6ft 2 lightweight said: “I was in Russia in 2011 as part of an Irish junior team at a multi-nations tournament, and the USA were there.

“I boxed at 50kg then but myself and Shakur did a bit of sparring when we were there and there was a bit of needle between the Irish and American lads about who would win out of us two.

“We’ve always carried that from then and I said to him ‘when we’re older, I’m going to head to the States and we will make some money in the MGM Grand one day’. He said ‘yeah, let’s do it’.

“I think he’s very, very skilful and I’ve always seen myself fighting him one day. That’s the mega fight for me; going over there and taking on Shakur one day. That was 11 years ago now.”

Stevenson, who Michael Conlan was on a Rio collision course with pre the famous robbery, is a huge talent but still has to prove himself in a division that includes names like undisputed champion Devon Hanney, Vasyl Lomachenko, Gervonta Davies, Ryan Garcia and George Kambosos Jr.

Although Cully already has the former feather and super featherweight champ #2 on 135lbs list.

“I think there are so many big names and big fights. I think Haney will fight Loma, maybe have one more at 135, and then move up to 140. Then all the belts will scatter around the place and become vacant. That means there will be opportunities for me to step up and be in a good position when it does happen. Eddie has seen that as well.

“I think Haney is No.1. I’d probably have Stevenson next, even though he hasn’t fought at lightweight yet. Then Gervonta is probably No.3 for me and then Ryan Garcia after him – if they fight it will be huge.”

‘The Diva’ is hoping to get out before Spring in the UK and wants a big fight on the proposed Katie Taylor Croke Park undercard.

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