Forced to deal with a sea of boos, USA Boxing‘s Shakur Stevenson made his much-anticipated Rio Olympics debut against Brazilian Robenilson de Jesus on Sunday morning.
Stevenson grabbed a unanimous-decision victory over the hometown fighter and clinched a spot in the quarterfinals against Erdenebat Tsendbaatar of Mongolia on Tuesday morning.
The 19-year-old southpaw from Newark, New Jersey came out firing quick combinations, focusing on his opponent’s body and showing the skills that have so many in the boxing world excited about his potential.
Though one judge somehow found a way to give de Jesus Round 1, Stevenson was in control throughout, displaying a sharp jab which he considers to be one of his strongest assets in the ring.
In Round 2, a clash of heads momentarily halted the action as de Jesus suffered a cut.
— Jake Donovan (@JakeNDaBox_v2) August 14, 2016
In Round 3, Stevenson opened up his attack and landed numerous telling blows to both the head and body of de Jesus.
Stevenson particularly peppered de Jesus with a series of uppercuts to leave no doubt in the judges’ minds about who the winner was.
Stevenson showed the class that has many people tabbing him as a sure medalist for the United States.
With a win on Sunday, Stevenson moved one step closer to achieving his lifelong dream of winning a gold medal.
Alejandro "Alex" Burgos is a former Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Round By Round Boxing. He is a professional blogger, SEO Consultant and Marketing Director at Capital Practice Consulting in Washington, DC.