Stevenson brothers: The rising stars of global boxing

Shakur Stevenson, a global boxing sensation with world titles across three weight divisions, is not the sole pugilist within his family. His younger brother, Shakir Stevenson, is also carving out his own path in the competitive boxing world. This article offers a snapshot of the Stevenson family, delving into the life of Shakur Stevenson’s brother, their parents, and familiar backgrounds.

Following a similar path to his older sibling, Shakir Stevenson, born 9th July 2000, is a southpaw boxer stepping into the lightweight division ring. He was introduced to boxing at the tender age of seven, finding inspiration in his older brother and their uncle Wali Moses, who also serves as Shakur’s trainer. The Brick City Boxing Club, situated in their hometown Newark, New Jersey, is where Shakir hones his skills.

Shakir commenced his amateur career in 2014, claiming victory at the National Junior Olympics held in Charleston, West Virginia. His subsequent achievements include victories at numerous national and international championships, notably the 2016 Youth World Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he triumphed over Cuba’s Dariesky Palmero in the final bout.

Continuing his successful run, Shakir represented the United States at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, securing a bronze medal. Turning professional in 2019, Shakir signed a contract with Top Rank, the same promotional company managing his brother’s career. He made his professional debut on October 26, 2019, in a fight against Ivan Varela, which he won by unanimous decision, marking the start of his professional journey.

Since then, Shakir’s professional career has seen six additional victories, all achieved through knockout or technical knockout. His last victory was against Juan Alberto Flores on November 16, 2023, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Currently, he is ranked 15th lightweight contender by the WBC and 14th by the WBO. Shakir is anticipated to compete for a regional or minor title soon, potentially challenging for a world title like his brother in the future.

Shakur Stevenson, originally named Ash-Shakur Nafi-Shahid Stevenson, was born on June 28, 1997, in Newark, New Jersey to Malikah Stevenson and Shahid Guyton. He has four brothers and two sisters. His parents, both African American Muslims, named him after the iconic rapper and fellow Muslim, Tupac Shakur. The name Shakur translates to “thankful” or “grateful” in Arabic.

Growing up in a tough neighbourhood in Newark, Shakur was exposed to crime and violence at an early age. Raised by his mother and grandfather James Stevenson, he was introduced to boxing when he was five. His father was in prison for most of Shakur’s childhood, gaining freedom when Shakur was 15. Shakur attributes his discipline and faith to the teachings of his parents.

Practising Islam and observing prayers five times daily, Shakur also respects other religious beliefs and cultures. He has visited numerous countries as a boxer. Proud of his roots and heritage, Shakur often sports African-themed attire and accessories, demonstrating his support for black empowerment and social justice. His body art also mirrors his identity and beliefs.