Atlas’s Suspicion: Top Rank Wanted Shakur Stevenson Out

Atlas’s Suspicion: Top Rank Wanted Shakur Stevenson Out

Unveiling Top Rank’s Hidden Agenda

In a recent podcast, Teddy Atlas, the host, speculated that Top Rank deliberately chose not to renew Shakur Stevenson’s contract because he wasn’t considered a profitable investment. If they truly wanted to keep Shakur, they would have prevented him from reaching free agency.

Atlas suspects that Top Rank strategically selected a weaker opponent, Artem Harutyunyan, for Stevenson’s last fight, anticipating that he might not deliver a convincing victory. While Shakur attempted to secure a knockout, his inability to do so highlighted his flaws, further diminishing his market value.

Considering Stevenson’s lackluster performance, Atlas doubts that other promoters would be eager to sign him unless they could arrange a lucrative one-off bout with the likes of Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis. Without the prospect of facing star opponents, Shakur’s fights failed to attract viewership, ticket sales, or Pay-Per-View success.

Atlas questions Top Rank’s true intentions, suggesting that they intentionally allowed Stevenson to become a free agent by selecting an easy opponent for his final fight. Shakur likely demanded a substantial contract for his re-signing, which would only make sense if he could elevate his profile through major matchups.

Stevenson’s failure to become a PPV draw for Top Rank hampered his earning potential, especially compared to fighters like Ryan Garcia. By showcasing Shakur against Harutyunyan, Top Rank intentionally put him in a position to either shine or falter, potentially deterring other promoters from investing in him.

Despite Stevenson’s lackluster performance, his future marketability may hinge on his ability to face elite opponents or adopt a more captivating fighting style. While he may not possess Mayweather’s skill, his arrogance and polarizing persona could draw viewers intrigued by the possibility of seeing him defeated.

In the end, Atlas emphasizes that in the business of boxing, success is measured by a fighter’s ability to sell tickets and Pay-Per-View buys. Top Rank’s decision to showcase Shakur against a beatable opponent ultimately tarnished his image as he approached free agency, raising questions about his future prospects in the sport.

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