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Stevenson outpoints De Los Santos to win WBC lightweight crown

LAS VEGAS – Undefeated American fighter Shakur Stevenson labored to a unanimous-decision victory over Edwin De Los Santos of the Dominican Republic to claim the vacant WBC world lightweight crown on Thursday (Friday Manila time).

The unbeaten 26-year-old improved to 21-0, with 10 knockouts after easing past De Los Santos via margins of 115-113, 116-112, 116-112 at the T-Mobile Arena.

The win sealed Stevenson's third world title at different weight classes after stints as featherweight and junior lightweight champion.

But it was a lackluster showing from both fighters, and the crowd signaled its disapproval through the later rounds as boos echoed around the arena.

De Los Santos landed just 40 punches throughout the 12 rounds, according to the official Compubox statistics. It is the fewest number of punches ever recorded in a 12-round fight since the system was first introduced 38 years ago.

Stevenson acknowledged the uninspiring showing following the bout.

"I had a bad performance tonight, that's all I'm focused on," he said. "I wasn't feeling too good. I'll live it, it's OK, I came here to get the victory and that's all I wanted to do."

Stevenson declined to say if injury or illness had hampered his performance, brushing off questions about his left hand, which he landed only 21 times during the contest.

"I ain't got nothing to say about that — I'm not going to make excuses," he said. "I just didn't feel good before the fight."

De Los Santos meanwhile accused Stevenson of negative tactics after his defeat.

"I came to fight, he came for a track meet," De Los Santos said. "I came to fight tonight, and Shakur Stevenson decided not to fight. He was gifted the title but I am the champion of the people."