“Yesterday he said I’m a fake,” said Shakur Stevenson’s Robson Conceicao after weighing in for their Friday night bout, “so show the world who the fake is: it’s him.” Conceicao was understandably put off that Stevenson, who held the WBO and WBC junior lightweight titles, lost weight for their over a pound bout. The former 17-1 gold medalist also made it clear through his he interpreter that he felt that Stevenson was letting local fans down, as the fight will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, Stevenson’s hometown. “It should lead by example for your hometown,” Conceicao said, “and this is proving otherwise.”
Simply put, Conceicao made it clear that he believed the 18-0 Stevenson was not meeting his job requirements as a fighter. “He’s not a professional,” said Conceicao, “and therefore he’s a shame for the whole boxing world.” When asked if he felt Stevenson neglected to take him seriously, Conceicao was quick with an answer. “Oh sure,” he said. Yet the Brazilian contender also made it clear that he was full of confidence on the eve of the biggest fight of his career. “Even if he had shown the weight,” he said of Stevenson, “I would have taken his belts … (if) it’s from him, he’s not from anyone, I’ll take the belts home.” Fortunately Conceicao still has a chance to win the WBC and WBO belts, even though Stevenson has now been deprived of it.
Conceicao indicated that he and Stevenson are simply different people. “I don’t talk much like him,” said Conceicao, “so I’m a professional athlete who does in the ring and does in my sport, I don’t talk too much like him.” It is obvious that Conceicao feels he represents what it means to be a professional boxer. “Tomorrow I will show the world the professional athlete and the fighter I am,” he said. There are still some fighters who feel that boxing requires more than winning on a resume and Conceicao has made it clear, via his interpreter, that he is one of them.
“Any kind of champion … has to be an example to the world,” he said. “It’s not an example,” she added, referring to Stevenson. Conceicao will no doubt provide an example of how to shock the fighting world if he can pull off the turmoil against Stevenson on Friday night at the Prudential Center. The fight will air live on ESPN starting at 10pm Eastern time.