The super featherweight main event between Shakur Stevenson and Jeremiah Nakathila won’t win any awards. Stevenson won easily, but it wasn’t pretty.
Most assumed that Shakur Stevenson would have an easy time with unknown Jeremiah Nakathila. While that was the case, Stevenson’s victory made for bad optics.
On Saturday, June 12, fans watching the main event at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas grew restless towards the end of Stevenson vs. Nakathila and let out the occasional boo. They say styles make fights, and Stevenson and Nakathila mixed like oil and water.
Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs) won every round against Nakathila on all three judges’ scorecards. It was a dominant boxing performance, but it wasn’t exciting to watch.
The mixture of Stevenson’s southpaw stance with Nakathila’s orthodox stance caused them to step on each other’s lead foot all night. That’s common between southpaws and orthodox fighters, but it can make things awkward. To make matters worse, referee Celestino Ruiz acted like he didn’t understand that dynamic and screamed “watch the feet” throughout the fight. He even warned both fighters that he would take away points.
Shakur Stevenson collects a unanimous decision win over Jeremiah Nakathila
It was a truly odd occurrence, which further marred a boring and inactive contest. Stevenson controlled the action, showed strong defense, and counterpunched well, but he didn’t blow out Nakathila as most thought he would.
According to CompuBox statistics, Stevenson landed 114 of 304 punches, and Nakathila landed 28 of 305 punches. Those were low total for Stevenson, which were made to look even worse because his dance partner only connected at a 9 percent rate. That is incredibly low and won’t make anybody watching happy.
Super featherweights are known for their energy, but Stevenson and Nakathila combined for a lethargic bout that plodded along at a snail’s pace. Stevenson scored a knockdown in round 4, but it didn’t hurt Nakathila and didn’t ignite a spark in this match.
Stevenson could have been more active, but Nakathila didn’t do him any favors. It takes two to make an entertaining fight, and Stevenson and Nakathila didn’t gel.
Stevenson vs. Jamel Herring is the anticipated next bout for the Herring’s WBO title. That should be much more entertaining. Stevenson got the win on his march towards Herring.