Shakur Stevenson vs Robson Conceicao fight preview
Undefeated American Shakur Stevenson (18-0, 9KO) puts his WBC, WBO and Ring Magazine super-featherweight titles on the line against world title contender Robson ‘Nino’ Conceicao (17-1, 8KO) this Saturday night, September 17, in the champion’s home city of Newark.
The 19th fight of Stevenson's career will serve as the 25-year-old's first defence as a unified champion.
On paper, these two 130-pounders are extremely close in stats – both Olympic medallists, 18 pro bouts each, Robson with just one less KO than Stevenson on his record.
But it's not as close in reality when you consider Conceicao has already tasted defeat and the champ is still unbeaten; and ‘Nino’s’ loss was to Oscar Valdez, who Stevenson decisioned unanimously whilst also knocking him down in the sixth round. Shared opponents can often tell a lot about fighters and their performances.
The bookies also don't give the challenger a great chance to win, as high as 12/1 with some bookmakers, but you can pay a visit kwiff bet for supercharged betting odds.
The Brazilian is an Olympic champion with an outstanding amateur pedigree, but he fell short in his first attempt at a world title in 2021. He started brightly, then allowed Valdez to get back into the contest to win on points. However, that experience could prove invaluable for him as he gets a second crack at the crown.
33-year-old Conceicao is a boxer-puncher, good at controlling range, has a tight, high guard and quick handspeed, but there’s not many that can match the speed of Stevenson.
Conceicao has been knocked down before as a pro, and by Lomachenko as an amateur, but has proven his chin after taking some big shots from Valdez. He still has an amateur style, often doubling up his crisp jab and varying straight shots from head to body, with superb technique.
The defending champion, Shakur Stevenson, is a southpaw who has super sharp reflexes, with the deftest of footwork. His fleeting feet can get him out of range and away from trouble swiftly, and can also get him back in striking distance to counter effectively, which he does so well and often. He is a master at judging distance and can counter swiftly and sorely. He can box in all ways – front foot, back foot, side to side.
Conceicao, a Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist, may have been slightly more successful in the amateurs than Rio 2016 silver medallist Stevenson, but Shakur has the edge in the pro ranks.
‘SS’ doesn’t have many glaring weaknesses but there are a few small flaws that can be exposed, such as when he shoots the lead left, he can sometimes leave his right downwards in a sling, giving opponents a chance to counter with a left hook. He can also be hit to the body when pivoting away to his right, but none of these shots have troubled him yet, so there’s still an air of invincibility surrounding him at the moment.
‘Nino’ possesses a few obvious flaws that can be laid bare, such as when he leans in too far to shoot leaving his stance overly wide and his frame subsequently unbalanced, which could allow Shakur to score a flash knockdown if he can land a quick counter. He can also overload on his power punches, which will certainly leave him open to counters from Stevenson.
Conceicao’s high guard has allowed other opponents, such as Xavier Martinez in his last fight, to land attacks to the body, while also finding gaps through the gloves to reach the head. Martinez tapped the guard to distract from his body attacks. Valdez also went to the head first to land down below afterwards.
Stevenson’s last stoppage win was in his second to last fight in 2021 against Jamel Herring, who held his guard high all fight, so Stevenson just punched his way around it, eventually pummeling him into submission in the 10th round. Shakur is technical and intelligent, so he can expose a weakness when he finds it, and this high guard issue is surely going to be his biggest chance of success against Robson.
Stevenson has the greater skill and higher IQ, plus the home advantage, so I can't see any way Conceicao wins, definitely not on points, unless he can find an unbelievable punch from the gods to score a stoppage.
Although Conceicao is well schooled, technically sound, quick and sharp, Stevenson does it all better and more. Conceicao is skilled, tough and brave, but I think a late stoppage win for Stevenson is a genuine possibility here, perhaps rounds 10-12.
However, my prediction is for Shakur Stevenson to score a knockdown during the fight to win unanimously on points.