Shakur Stevenson vs. Jeremiah Nakathila Boxing Odds, Pick & Prediction: How To Bet WBO Title Fight (Saturday, June 12)
Shakur Stevenson and Toka Kahn-Clary exchange punches during their fight at the MGM Grand Conference Center on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images).
- One of boxing's rising stars, Shakur Stevenson, puts his undefeated record on the line against relative unknown Jeremia Nakathila.
- Stevenson is an overwhelming favorite (-5000 odds) at every book in Saturday's fight. One of boxing's rising stars, Shakur Stevenson, puts his undefeated record on the line against relative unknown Jeremia Nakathila. Stevenson is an overwhelming favorite (-5000 odds).
- Raheem Palmer details where to find a value bet in this matchup.
Stevenson vs. Nakathila Odds
In one of the least-hyped fights in recent memory, Shakur Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs) returns to the ring to take on Jeremiah Nakathila (21-1, 17 KOs) in a battle for the vacant WBO junior lightweight interim title at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.
Sandwiched in between next weekend’s lightweight bout between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos on Saturday June 19 and last weekend’s “spectacle” between Floyd Mayweather Jr and YouTube star Jake Paul, it’s easy to see why this fight would go unnoticed.
Stevenson is one of the the best up and coming fighters in the sport, ranking eighth in Ring Magazine’s top 10 junior lightweights. He’s a former WBO featherweight titleholder and 2016 Olympic Silver medalist. Nakathila is unknown to American boxing fans since he’s never fought outside his home country and was the brunt of jokes in the pre-fight press conference when Stevenson was made aware of his occupation as a police officer in Namibia.
This is nothing more than a showcase fight for Stevenson who has his eyes set on a potential matchup with WBC junior lightweight champion Oscar Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs) or WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring, who will be at ringside during the fight.
Unfortunately we’re a long way from seeing those fights. Stevenson enters this fight with no other reason than to stay active and test his skills against Nakathila and while he’s unheralded and downright obscure to most boxing fans, it’s hard to complain about seeing young up-and-coming star talent in the ring.
Oddsmakers have installed the Stevenson as a massive favorite — anywhere from -5,000 to -10,000 — but let’s analyze the fight and see if we can find an edge to capitalize on in the betting markets.
Shakur Stevenson Drawing Mayweather Comparisons
At the tender age of 23, Shakur Stevenson is already drawing comparisons to Floyd Mayweather and and just 15 fights into his career he appears to be developing into one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Of course, it’s still early and Stevenson hasn’t fought top level competition so until then, there are more questions than answers. Like Mayweather, Stevenson is an Olympic medalist which requires a high level of technical skill which has stuck with him during his professional career. He’s a complete fighter who’s only getting better.
Stevenson is 5-foot-7 with a 68-inch reach and is what Timothy Bradley refers to as an inverted South Paw as he’s naturally right handed but prefers the South Paw stance in which he leads with his power hand. Stevenson doesn’t have one punch knockout power, as he’s won by stoppage in eight of his 15 victories. Nonetheless, he’s more likely to win by the accumulation of breaking a fighter down.
Although Stevenson is getting Mayweather comparisons, I look at Stevenson in a similar vein as Andre Ward — just extremely crafty, versatile while doing the little things to win. He doesn’t have Mayweather’s athletic gifts or pop at 130. What makes Stevenson elite is his footwork, fast hands, accurate punches, ability to control distance and range, make opponents miss and neutralize an opponent’s best punch.
In his 2020 fight against Felix Caraballo, Stevenson outlanded his opponent 121 to 18, per Compubox. Stevenson is also one of the best in boxing at neutralizing a boxer’s jab. Joet Gonzalez landed just four jabs during a 12-round fight against Stevenson, according to Compubox.
Nakathila Is a Complete Mystery
Jeremiah Nakathila is an enigma to say the least. For starters, he’s never fought outside of his home country of Namibia so anyone but the most extreme American boxing fan will likely be unfamiliar with him and yet he’s the WBO’s No. 2 contender. The most interesting thing is that although he’s a tall lanky fighter standing at 5-foot-10, not even a Google search provides any details on his reach, a rarity in 2020 where nearly anything can be found on the Internet.
Nevertheless, I think that alone makes it pretty clear that Top Rank found someone to put into the ring so Stevenson can look good and show case his skills in order to stay busy.
After looking at film of Nakathila, it’s clear he has power and the aggressiveness to make it a fun and exciting fight, but he lacks both hand and foot speed while also being flat-footed. He has some size so it’s possible that it could be an issue for Stevenson as he’s adjusting in the first round but these are two fighters in different classes.
With all due respect to Nakathila, he’s never fought anyone on Stevenson’s level and you have to wonder if he will even take much time to feel Nakathila out. Nakathila is quite predictable — Stevenson should have no problems neutralizing his right hand while countering and picking him apart offensively.
Stevenson vs Nakathila Pick
Shakur is a rising star looking to make his imprint on the sport of boxing and get bigger fights against Oscar Valdez or Jamel Herring. You get those opportunities by putting on good shows.
He’s fighting an inexperienced fighter in Nakathila hasn’t fought outside of his home country or anyone the level of Stevenson, who is on the path to being one of the best technical fighters in the sport.
Nakathila is slow, he telegraphs his punches and he’s tailor made for Stevenson to look good on Saturday night. This has all the makings of a stoppage and around the seventh or eighth round.
The Pick: Shakur Stevenson by KO, TKO or DQ (-250)