Olympic silver medal winner Shakur Stevenson played the role of headliner and shined. Stevenson, the former featherweight world champion, secured a 10-round unanimous decision over veteran Toka Kahn Clary in the junior lightweight main event Saturday from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.
Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs), the WBO mandatory super featherweight challenger, has a title shot on his brain, but he nonetheless laid a beating on Clary (28-3, 19 KOs). The scorecards — 100-90 across the board — were a formality.
Up next, if he gets his wish, is a shot at the WBO super featherweight world title.
Stevenson is aiming to secure the winner of the upcoming fight between WBO champion Jamel Herring and two-division beltholder Carl Frampton, which is targeted to take place in the early part of 2021.
“He knew how to survive. He came in there to survive, and that’s what he did,” Stevenson said. “I want the WBO belt first. The winner of Frampton and Herring have to come see me. After that, we want [WBC world champion Miguel] Berchelt.”
Also on the card – trailing big on the scorecards, Masayoshi Nakatani came from behind and earned the most significant win of his career.
Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs) scored a pair of knockdowns in the ninth round to stop Puerto Rican star Felix Verdejo in the ninth round of a scheduled 10-round lightweight bout. Knocked down in the first and fourth rounds, Nakatani, in his first bout since a decision loss to Teofimo Lopez in July 2019, stormed back with a pair of knockdowns in the ninth to clinch the shocking stoppage.
Verdejo (27-2, 17 KOs) saw his four-bout winning streak come to an end, and at the time of the stoppage, he was leading on all three scorecards (78-72 2x and 77-74).
After the bout, a jubilant Nakatani set his sights on a rematch with Lopez, now the undisputed lightweight world champion.