Ryan Garcia blasted Shakur Stevenson about him being “arrogant”, performing poorly in his recent fight against Edwin De Los Santos on November 16th, and the ESPN commentators giving what he feels was biased commentary.
The A-side fighter, Shakur, wasn’t throwing punches and appeared to be losing the fight throughout, but was given a questionable twelve round unanimous to capture the vacant WBC lightweight title.
Ryan says he had to turn off the round because the commentary from ESPN didn’t match what was happening inside the ring. There were a lot of compliments about Shakur controlling the fight, which didn’t appear to be the case.
Shakur was moving a lot and not throwing punches, which is what the ESPN commentators should have been discussing in a straightforward Howard Cossell manner, but that didn’t happen.
It sounded like some of them were putting a positive spin on how Shakur was fighting, almost glorifying it, and it was so obvious. Anyone with their eyes open could see that Shakur looked awful, wasn’t throwing punches, and was just running like he’d just robbed a bank,
The booing was obvious from the second round, and that wasn’t because of De Los Santos not being able to cut off the ring. It was because Shakur was literally running, just like he’d done against Jeremiah Nakathilia and Robeisy Ramirez.
If Shakur continues to fight, ESPN’s broadcast team needs to call it like they see it and not give praise that doesn’t match the reality. It sounds false when praise is given to a poor-performing fighter.
Garcia says he doesn’t like the way Shakur (21-0, 10 KOs) carries himself, thinking he’s great, and he thinks that’s not a good look.
What really bothered Ryan was how Tim Bradley was pouring praise on Shakur during the fight with De Los Santos, which he won by running around the ring with his dull pull-back style and clinching constantly.
Shakur “didn’t fight good”
“I don’t get ticked off at a lot of people, but he does talk some really arrogant s***, and he is a little bit like that in person,” said Ryan Garcia to Fight Hub TV about Shakur Stevenson.
“Honestly, he didn’t fight good at all. He was scared. He didn’t fight, and it’s so biased,” said Ryan about Shakur.
Ryan is being kind by saying Shakur looked scared. He actually look petrified and scared out of his wits. The ugly pull-back style that Shakur has been using since his amateur days was in full use for this fight, making it unwatchable.
Top Rank has to make a decision whether to keep Shakur after his contract expires or keep him, and potentially ruin future fights involving him on ESPN.
It wouldn’t be a problem if Top Rank buries Shakur at the bottom of the card, like the first fight of the event, or better yet, placing him off TV, where he’s invisible and can’t do any harm. But you can’t have a fighter like that in a headliner spot or co-feature; you just can’t. That’s poison and risky, especially with networks dumping boxing.
If you’re a promoter, do you want to have a boring fighter mess things up for your company on a network like ESPN?
“Ever since the amateurs, he’s walking about like his s*** don’t stink, and it pisses me off,” Ryan continued about Shakur. “I was in Vegas one day talking to his friend, Keyshawn [Davis], and we were having a great time, great conversation.
“I said, ‘Shakur, come over. Blah-blah-blah.’ He just looks at me and goes, ‘Nah, you got to come over here.’ Like, some arrogant s***. I’m like, ‘Bro, what is that?’ We’re all in this journey together. We’re all trying to figure this s*** out. You don’t got to act like that, bro. We all know how this game goes. I’m not trying to be who’s cool and who’s not.’”
It’s weird how Shakur behaves as if he has no self-awareness of how he performs and how awful his style is. He’s not a super talent. He’s flat-out boring to watch.
Stevenson is completely out of touch with his lack of talent and hasn’t learned from his loss to the Cuban Robeisy in the 2016 Olympics. It’s surprising that a promotional company like Top Rank signed Shakur and has poured so much money into making him a star. You’d think that they would have understood by now that it’s a bad investment.
“So, that pissed me off and gave me a little bit more motivation to kind of like throw a Tweet out there,” said Ryan explaining why he Tweeted a comment about being bored by Shakur’s performance against Edwin De Los Santos on November 16th on ESPN.
Ryan blasts biased ESPN commentary
That commentary [from ESPN] was disgusting,” said Ryan Garcia about the commentary from ESPN broadcast team during Shakur’s fight with Edwin De Los Santos. “I was disgusted by the commentary. If Shakur don’t throw a lot of punches, he’s controlling the fight. If somebody else [De Los Santos] doesn’t throw a lot of punches, it’s, ‘Oh man, he’s reluctant. He’s hesitant.’”
The compliments from ESPN’s broadcast team towards Shakur made some of them sound like they were worried about losing their jobs.
“It’s just so biased. I can’t even watch ESPN fights no more, I really can’t,” said Ryan. It’s so disgusting. At least on DAZN, they keep it real. They don’t keep it real on ESPN. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is almost unwatchable. I might want to put it on mute,’ and I like Timothy Bradley.
“I grew up with him, but his commentary. You got to be real, man. You can’t be like that. It’s not good for boxing. You got to bring back Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant. Well, Larry Merchant, he’s a little bit out there,” said Ryan.
That would be interesting if ESPN had someone like Larry Merchant or a Howard Cossell type who would tell it like it is, letting fans know when a fighter is performing horribly, even if it’s a house fighter.
If Shakur Stevenson isn’t good enough to perform in an entertaining manner, he’s going to turn off fans, and eventually, he’s going to lose because he’s a runner and always has been. The only time he doesn’t run is when he fights B-level opposition with no power, slow hand speed, and marginal ability.
“He used to talk s*** about Floyd all the time, but Jim Lampley and Roy Jones Jr., I miss those guys. I’m tired of hearing these other dudes [Mark Kriegal, Joe Tessitore & Tim Bradley]. Ask the public how bad that commentary is. It is disgusting. It literally makes your stomach turn. I had to turn it off,” said Ryan.