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Atlas Allegations: Top position wants Shakur Stevenson out

Teddy Atlas, the pod manager, suspects that Top Rank didn’t want to re-sign Shakur Stevenson because he wasn’t ready for business. They weren’t going to let him get close to free agency if they wanted to keep Shakur.

A High Level Hidden Agenda

Atlas believes Top Rank deliberately matched Shakur (22-0, 10 KOs) against a weaker opponent, Artem Harutyunyan, last Saturday night, knowing there was a good chance he would fail to impress in victory. They knew he would win, but he would show his shortcomings.

Shakur was impressive in destroying Harutyunyan, but that’s not his fighting style. He tried to get a knockout, but failed and ended up looking poor as usual.

Based on that performance, Atlas believes that Shakur may have a hard time finding another promoter interested in signing him unless they can produce Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, who would make more money in a one-fight deal. Besides, Shakur doesn’t deserve much pay, and his fights fail to deliver ratings, sell tickets, or do well on PPV.

Atlas Questions Top Level Motivations

“I don’t think they wanted to sign him. They let him be a free agent,” Teddy Atlas said on his YouTube channel about his belief that Top Rank was not interested in re-signing Shakur Stevenson.

“If they wanted him, they wouldn’t have let him go that far. They picked an opponent that wasn’t that difficult,” said Atlas to Top Rank choosing the easy pick, giving Artem Harutyunyan the last fight of Shakur’s contract with them.

It’s possible that Shakur wanted a bigger contract to re-sign with Top Rank, which wouldn’t make sense to them unless he was a PPV star and if they matched him with Tank Davis and Vasily Lomachenko.

Stevenson probably wouldn’t have been a PPV draw without him fighting these two, and it’s doubtful that Top Rank would have made those fights.

“If they really wanted to get rid of him, they could have put him in with the guy they thought could beat him because they already knew he was leaving. So they try to make him dirty on the way out. They know that, and they could afford that,” Atlas said.

“Then they go another way. ‘We’re going to give him a guy to shine with,’ and I think they thought they weren’t going to give him because they know what he is. He’s got terrific talent, but he’s not exciting.

“You put him in with a guy who can untie him, but you also know that he can show his shortcomings, too. Entertainment business. He will show why we let his contract expire. “Top Rank made him a millionaire,” Atlas said of Shakur.

It’s possible that Stevenson didn’t get the money from his contract with Top Rank that we saw Ryan Garcia get in one fight against Tank Davis. Shakur’s failure to become a Top Rank PPV star hurt his ability to make money.

“They have argued with him where he is going to dive or swim and show if there are other people who will be interested, and he is also yelling at the networks who want to dress him up. “I don’t know many people who would pay $80 for a PPV,” Atlas said of Shakur.

Stevenson’s performance against Hartuyunyan may not hurt his sales if a potential promoter like Matchroom, PBC, or Mayweather Promotions can produce Tank Davis or if they can protect him long enough to turn him into another Floyd clone.

Shakur doesn’t have Mayweather’s talent, but he’s just as arrogant as he was when he played and has the same way of making fans watch his fights and want to see him lose.

Stevenson’s Sales and Futures Options

“If that’s the case, why would Top Rank want to re-sign him? It’s a business. It’s about how many seats he can sell and the PPV he can sell. If that was their goal, they achieved it,” said Atlas via Top Rank, including Shakur and the striker he was supposed to be in, but he ended up doing nothing, lowering the level of his marketing as he walked out the door to freedom.

It’s not Top Rank’s fault that Shakur failed to fight the striker he should have defeated. If Shakur is what he’s telling fans, he should have destroyed Harutyunyan, if he’s the same opponent as he was against Frank Martin.

This was someone who could easily beat other lightweights. Even 20-year-old Abdullah Mason could make light work of Harutyunyanm, but he wasn’t ranked in the top 15 at lightweight.

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