Shakur Stevenson has stepped up in weight class and jabbed his way to a second world title, beating fellow American Jamel Herring by technical knockout in the 10th round of their WBO junior lightweight championship fight.
Former featherweight champion Stevenson (17-0) applied steady pressure throughout Saturday night’s fight in Atlanta and leaned on the jab that helped him to a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics.
Herring (23-3) never went down, but as the fight wore on he suffered substantial damage above both eyes. The fight was stopped briefly with 2:35 left in the 10th so that his badly bleeding right forehead could receive attention from his corner.
When action resumed, Stevenson pressured relentlessly. Herring’s eye kept bleeding badly and the fight was stopped for good at 1:30 of the 10th.
“He’s a great boxer, very tough,” Stevenson said. He also said that he felt confident that he was going to win by the fifth round.
On the undercard, junior middleweight and Atlanta native Evan Holyfield moved to 8-0 as a professional with a knockout in the second round of journeyman Charles Stanford.
One of the biggest rounds of applause on the night came immediately after that fight when his father, four-time former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, was pictured on scoreboards around the arena with a sizable grin on his face.
Soon afterward, Nico Ali Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali, scored a third-round technical knockout of James Westley II in the second pro bout for each fighter.
Walsh first sent Westley to the canvas in the second round, and with another combination put him down in the third on the way to a 33-17 edge in power punches.