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All the pressure is on Shakur Stevenson.
The 2016 Olympic silver medalist and former 126-pound titleholder is one of the hottest young fighters in the world. His opponent on Saturday is relatively obscure Jeremia Nakathila of Namibia, who is 21-1 (17 KOs) but also about a 30-1 underdog.
Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs) is taking nothing for granted, though. He knows he has a job to do in the fight for the WBO’s “interim” 130-pound title.
“It feels good knowing that [promoter] Bob [Arum] thinks I’m the next superstar of the sport, and I have to live up to the hype,” he said at the final news conference to promote the fight on ESPN and ESPN+.
“At the end of the day, I listen [to the hype], but you can’t get too hot, You still gotta complete the task. I try to stay in between. I don’t try to listen to everything I hear and go off that.
“I try to make sure I do what I’m supposed to do. My preparation was good. My weight is good. I’m ready to fight Saturday.”
Check out the entire news conference below.