The USA’s latest great boxing hope is the New Jersey-born Bantamweight (56kg) Shakur Stevenson. The young man with an infectious enthusiasm for the sport burst onto the international boxing scene in 2014 with a brilliant Youth World Championships gold in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku, paving the way to a place in the USA Olympic Team two years later for Rio 2016 where he won a hard-earned silver medal.
What do you remember from your time at the Youth World Championships?
The 2014 World Championships was a tough competition. I think I had five matches, but that helped me prepare for everything that I did prior to the Olympics. I remember how it felt winning it.
How did the experience help you?
It helped my career, gave me the experience I needed to get where I did in the Olympics and to get that silver medal, so it really helped me a lot
What would you say to those boxers preparing for this year’s Youth World Championships?
My advice for the boxers in Saint Petersburg is to focus on yourself. Once you get out there, get locked in and away from everybody else and get yourself in the zone.
Who did you look up to when you were a Youth boxer?
Back when I was coming through, the USA boxers weren’t really doing as well as everybody else, so I guess the guy I fought at the Olympics, Robeisy Ramirez, who won the Youth Worlds and then the Olympics, was the example I looked at.