Shakur Stevenson will have his first fight at 130 pounds versus the relatively unknown Felix Caraballo on Tuesday the 9th of June. He’ll headline the first major boxing card since the Corona Virus cancelled all sporting events a few months ago. Caraballo has been called a tune up fight for Stevenson by most people but I decided to go and watch his fights myself to see if this is really a tune up.
The truth is all the people calling this a tune up and a one sided fight are… 100 percent correct. While Caraballo isn’t a bad fighter hes not on Stevenson’s level and his style is tailor made for Stevenson to exploit. Caraballo keeps a high guard while trying to get into range by simply walking in without jabbing. Once he gets inside he’ll throw hooks to the body and head and also uppercuts where he really leaves himself open because of how much power he throws them with. When he uses his jab its not bad but its not quick or snappy enough to trouble Stevenson in my opinion. If Caraballo is to win he’ll need to draw Stevenson into scrappy exchanges where Stevenson’s superior boxing skills won’t come into play. I believe his only way of winning this fight is by KO if Stevenson gets lazy or reckless which is unlikely.
Stevenson can win this fight in lots of different ways. I think what he’s likely to do is what he did in the Joet Gonzalez fight where he’d take a step back and counter every time Gonzalez threw a punch. He’ll make Caraballo reach and then punish him with fast combinations to the body and head. If Stevenson wants to be more aggressive he can apply smart pressure on the front foot and never give Caraballo a moments rest using in and out movement paired with a stabbing jab which Stevenson is perfectly capable of doing. I think Stevenson can win this fight by KO or decision but if it is by KO then i’m predicting he’ll do it by a left hand to the body.
The only way I see Caraballo winning this is if Stevenson doesn’t concentrate and he catches him with one big shot. The biggest disparity between them is the accuracy of their punches. Stevenson is precise and doesn’t waste a lot while Caraballo will often miss or hit the gloves of his opponents. Stevenson should be able to use his foot work, hand speed and accurate punching to win this inside the distance.