By Marc Livitz: 2016 USA silver medalist Shakur Stevenson was supposed to be subjected to a stern test at the hands of Viorel Simion in the evening’s co-main event.
Rather, it was the 21 year old New Jersey native who needed all but three minutes to ace the test with flying colors.
Midway through the opening round, Stevenson (9-0, 5 KO’s) dropped Simion twice, first with a short right hook to the chin, then by way of a left ‘check’ hook. Two knockdowns in less than twenty seconds. Viorel remained on his feet somehow and the fact that he’d not fought in seventeen months likely affected his efforts.
This prompted Shakur to throw hard shots to the body and look for the early stoppage. He’d ultimately get it just moments after the customary clack sound to indicate ten seconds to go in the round broke the night air. A well placed, well timed right hook dropped his Romanian opponent. As before, Simion (21-3, 9 KO’s) beat the count after he was able to grab the top rope to keep him from going completely to the mat. It didn’t matter. One good look into the defeated eyes of a man who’d lost only to high profile names in Scott Quigg and Lee Selby by referee Curtis Thrasher was all it took to close the deal. Furthermore, Simion had not been knocked down in his career until Saturday night.
At exactly the three minute mark of round one, Shakur Stevenson earned the fifth knockout of his career to improve to nine bouts without a loss.
“I didn’t say much all week because I just wanted to show y’all,” said the victorious Stevenson afterwards. “I’ve been calling Lee Selby out forever. Terence Crawford is about to dog Benavidez!”
Additional Results from Omaha
Steven Nelson TKO 4 Oscar Riojas - Light Heavyweight
Mikaela Mayer UD 8 Vanessa Bradford - Wm Welterweight
Mike Alvarado KO 2 Robbie Cannon - Welterweight
Ismail Muwendo UD 6 Andre Wilson - Super Featherweight
Keeshawn Williams UD 4 Ramel Snegur - Super Lightweight
Jose Valenzuela UD 4 Hugo Rodriguez - Super Featherweight