Bradley criticizes Stevenson’s decision to reject Top Rank offer

Bradley criticizes Stevenson’s decision to reject Top Rank offer

Boxing analyst Tim Bradley believes Shakur Stevenson made a mistake by not accepting the $15 million, five-fight, $3 million per-fight offer to re-sign with Top Rank rather than hitting the free-agent market.

Hope for lucrative deal with Turki Alalshikh

Shakur may have turned down the $15 million because he hopes Turki Alalshikh will give him a fortune to fight on his cards and not care if he fights boringly.

If that happens, it would be ideal for Shakur as he wouldn’t have to worry about entertaining the fans and could fight the only way he knows how with his amateur style of play that he hasn’t managed to change since turning professional in 2017.

This style doesn’t fit the professional ranks, where fighters are expected to just throw punches and be entertaining in order to sell tickets and PPVs.

Bradley believes it was a good offer and says WBC lightweight champion Shakur would have earned more than his $3 million for fights against Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Vasily Lomachenko.

Shakur might feel that if he signs with PBC, they will give him the fight against Tank Davis, a gold mine with a huge payday, probably much more than the $15 million contract Top Rank was offering.

Unrealistic expectations from PBC and Matchroom

Stevenson might not get the same offer from PBC or Matchroom Boxing because they must know that he will likely never be a PPV attraction or ticket seller at this point.

If Shakur gets the fight he wants against Tank Davis, he will get knocked out, run around the ring for 12 rounds like he did against Edwin De Los Santos, and lose by wide decision. There will be no decision giveaway for Shakur against Tank if he fights the same way he did against De Los Santos.

If Shakur believes PBC can offer him Tank, it would make sense for him to sign with them. Of course, PBC can’t force Tank Davis to face Shakur if they feel he doesn’t want to face him and has to run away from him for twelve rounds.

Shakur will fight more defensively against Tank than he did last Saturday night against weak puncher Artem Harutyunyan in Newark, New Jersey.

Top Rank’s generous offer

“Should he have taken the $15 million offer from Top Rank? Absolutely. He should have taken that $15 million deal. No question about it,” Tim Bradley told Probox TV about the $15 million Top Rank offered Shakur Stevenson to re-sign with them on a five-fight, $3 million-per-fight deal, which he declined.

Shakur could come back strong at Top Rank if other promoters or Turki don’t offer him a better or equal contract. It would be a bad idea on Shakur’s part, but it’s a real possibility. If you’re PBC or Matchroom, do you really want to sign Shakur after the way he’s looked lately? I wouldn’t. There are plenty of exciting fighters who may not be as good at defense, but they entertain the fans.

“You have to think about it. It’s a minimum of $3 million. It doesn’t matter who he’s going to fight. If he fights Tank Davis, of course he’s going to make more money,” Bradley said. “If he fights Lomachenko, of course he’s going to make more money. That’s a base price.”

Shakur can forget about Lomachenko because he will probably never agree to fight him unless he is paid a huge sum of money. If he loses to Gervonta Davis in November, he will be of no use to him.

“People were leaving the arena. If he was going to get that knockout, people would have been waiting there to see what happened. He missed that opportunity, and the reason he missed it is because he was arguing with his grandfather in the corner,” Bradley said of Shakur not listening to his grandfather, who wanted him to fight aggressively down the stretch.

Stevenson failed to knock out Artem Harutyunyan last weekend, and it wouldn’t have mattered if he had fought more aggressively. That wasn’t going to happen.

“His grandfather was telling him, ‘I need you to step on the gas, and I need to do it right now.’ He didn’t listen. The window was there, and he couldn’t get the engine to stall,” Bradley said.

The importance of marketing

“As far as his market value, it’s going to be tough for him,” Bradley said of Shakur. “I don’t know where he’s going to go from here. I don’t know if he’s going to partner with Terence Crawford. Turki Alalshikh, is he going to invest in Shakur Stevenson?”

If Turki signs with Shakur, who will he fight him against? Will he do regular fights or will he do crossover fights where he finds a popular MMA fighter and matches him against Shakur in a circus-level fight?

“He wants more money. I get it. I’m talking about market value. If you don’t put people in the seats, it’s hard for you to demand the kind of money this young man is asking for. $3 million is a lot of money,” Bradley said.

Based on Shakur’s performance, he doesn’t deserve a $15 million contract and doesn’t make more money than younger, more entertaining fighters like Abdullah Mason.

“You don’t see many guys making $3 million,” Bradley said.