Newark Native Boxes His Way to Olympic Victory
Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with professional boxer and Olympic silver medalist, Shakur Stevenson, to talk about his Newark roots, Olympic experience and what's next in his professional career.
"We are honored to be joined by this young man, he is Shakur Stevenson, Professional Boxer and 2016 Olympic silver medalist. How you doing young man? I'm straight. You are. In fact, we are up in Lincoln Center. In a couple of days, you'll be fighting down at... what's that place called? Madison Square Garden. [laughter] The Mecca? Yeah. What's it like fighting at the Garden? My second pro fight, it was amazing. I fought in a park, so it was like I had a lot of people there, and a lot of people from Newark came over to support me. So my walk out was amazing. The fight was amazing. I think that was my favorite fight out of all my fights. You know coming from Newark, both of us come from Brick City, I'm on one end of the city, you're on the other? Right? I was born in the North Ward. You're from the Central Ward of the city? Yeah. Where you grew up... I... Describe for a second when you knew boxing would be your professional life. Was it in the Boys Club at all? No, it was my first time going overseas. I had went overseas. I was a number two guy, and everybody on the team was number one. And my... then my kid that was a number one, he couldn't go because he didn't have, like, a passport. So they sent me. And I was, like, the replacement. But everybody else that was number one, they all lost, and I won every day. But hold on a second. But I'm talking about... go back. Is it true that when you were five, about five, you got into boxing? Yeah. What drew you to boxing? My grandfather. He was a... he was like a little... like a minor league like, literally type baseball player, like recreational baseball. So... and he was a boxing coach. And he had brought some of his fighters to the baseball game. And I had got the chance to meet them, man! And once I met them, it was like... it was just amazing to me that they were boxers, and I just wanted to see them train, and see... at least see about boxing. And the next day, I asked him to take me to the gym. He took me to the gym... You were hooked? Yeah I fell in love. Andre Ward? I say Andre Ward, you say... you got a big smile, I say Andre Ward, tell everyone who Andre Ward is. Andre Ward is my idol, my favor fighter, and my manager now. But I look at him like a superhero. A mentor to you? Yes. The boxing profession, right? Some of us who love..."