SHAKUR STEVENSON defeated Jeremia Nakathila with a unanimous points decision on Top Rank’s Saturday (June 12) show at the Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas. But he wanted more. He wanted to send a message to the super-featherweight champions he’s been chasing. Even though no one had stopped Nakathila before, a knockout had been on the young American’s mind.

“I tried to [get him out of there] a little bit, but I started getting hit with some solid shots. Next time I’m going to work on moving my head a little bit more and step it up a little more,” Stevenson said.

“To be honest, I didn’t really like my performance,” he added. “I felt I could have performed a lot better. You had an awkward fighter throwing hard punches, and he knows how to grab and get away. He was a real awkward fighter.”

Despite looking to hurt him and putting the Namibian down in the fourth round, Stevenson had not be able force an early finish in the fight. But at only 23 years old he remains one of the brightest developing talents in the US. “I was being real careful because he has power,” Shakur said. “He was throw one punch and go in a shell.

“I got the best defence in boxing. But I’ll be better in my next fights.”

All three judges agreed on scored of 120-107 for the American.

He was a WBO champion at the weight below and is the mandatory for Jamel Herring’s WBO super-featherweight belt. WBC titlist Oscar Valdez would also make for an exciting match up. Both of whom like, Stevenson, are promoted by Top Rank.

“If I had the choice, I’d take Oscar Valdez, but if I have to beat up Jamel to get to it, I’ll do that too,” Stevenson said. “Jamel can’t beat me. He knows what it is.”