LAS VEGAS (December 12, 2020) — Undefeated former WBO Featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson headlined Top Rank’s inaugural card inside the promotional entity’s Bubble at the MGM Grand Conference Center in June. Once COVID-19, again, wreaked havoc on Top Rank’s schedule, eliminating Miguel Berchelt from defending his WBC Super Featherweight title against Oscar Valdez, Stevenson stepped up to fill the date.
Stevenson hoped for a vacant 130-pound title fight versus Valdez. He settled for a 10-round fight versus veteran Toka Khan Clary, a 28-year old southpaw from Providence, Rhode Island, for his second fight at Super Featherweight.
Once the bout started the differences in class became glaring quickly. Stevenson was unable to get the instant results of Super Middleweight Edgar Berlanga from earlier in the evening, but he comprehensively out-boxed Clary in nearly a mistake-free performance. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist swept all three cards to win via unanimous decision. At 15-0, Stevenson will await the winner of WBO 130-pound champion Jamel Herring versus Carl Frampton.
Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs) started quickly. The former champion took the fight to Clary (28-3, 1 NC, 18 KOs) immediately, establishing his jab and attacking the body. Clary, slightly shorter than Stevenson, was knocked backwards from a right jab from the 23-year old.
Stevenson moved forward throwing powerful punches throughout the second frame. He threw a number of vicious shots with both hands.
Clary was forced onto his backfoot for the third straight round in Round 3. Stevenson’s punching from distance with body work mixed in kept Clary on the move with his offense limited to just his jab.
Stevenson’s work-rate increased in Round 4. He was first more often, as well as last in the short exchanges. Clary continued to be overwhelmed, often standing with his guard temple high.
Round 5 was nearly a repeat. Shakur walked Clary down in Round 6, throwing shots over the top of the veteran’s guard in the earlier part of the round. Clary struggled to adjust.
After controlling the first half of the fight, Stevenson’s superiority continued to show in the start of the fight’s second half. A long uppercut fazed Clary.
The action was one-sided in Round 8. Stevenson dominated from mid-range and inside, as well as up and down.
Halfway through the ninth round Stevenson punished Clary with a series of power jabs. He punched around Clary’s guard in the second half of the round before ending with a focus on Clary’s body.
Clary jabbed with Stevenson for nearly the entire first half of the final round. Stevenson mixed in power punches and Clary’s output sharply decreased. The younger fighter coasted through the final 30 seconds.
The official scorecards of 100-90, from all three judges, favored Stevenson.
Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images