Floyd Mayweather on Olympian Shakur Stevenson: I See The Next Floyd

The 19-year-old Newark boxer received the official word on Thursday that Russian boxer Vladimir Nikitin, his scheduled opponent for the semifinals in the bantamweight division on Thursday, had withdrawn due to injuries he had sustained in his previous fight.

Stevenson will win either gold or silver, the first of either medal for American men since Andre Ward's gold in 2004.

Despite earning his country's first boxing medal since the US won bronze in 2008 - all boxing semifinalists are guaranteed a medal - Stevenson wasn't satisfied, thinking only of the bout scheduled for Saturday.

Stevenson remains the brightest candidate to win the first men's gold medal in 12 years from once-proud USA Boxing.

Stevenson's slippery, defensive style has been compared to that of Mayweather, who was an Olympic medallist in 1996 before going on to become a boxing legend, retiring a year ago with an unbeaten 49-0 record.

Stevenson has been widely expected to begin his pro career with Top Rank Promotions this fall, but Floyd Mayweather tweeted Wednesday that he wished to "extend a warm welcome to @ShakurStevenson into The Money Team family".

"I see the next Floyd Mayweather", he said.

"I got kicked out of one school and then my cousin died. As soon as I came out of the hall, I saw him right there leaning over the balcony yelling", Stevenson said. "It was better than yesterday but I've got to box a little bit better", said Stevenson after making it two comfortable wins in two.

The U.S. men's boxing team are now certain to end the medals drought they experienced in the London 2012 games; the team's last boxing medal was a bronze at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. "In the third round, finish it off. Put the icing on the cake", Stevenson said.

Now Stevenson moves on to the semi-final round on Thursday, where he's guaranteed a Bronze medal no matter the result. "I thought he was a professional. Once I found out I wasn't fighting, I just kept moving to Saturday".

Russell, 20, lost his quarterfinal to Gaibnazarov when two judges scored the fight 29-28 for his opponent and one had the same score for him.

"Congratulations to the guy that I fought".

Stevenson has Russian fighter Vladimir Nikitin up next and the victor goes for gold. I like being in the ring with people that I think are good.

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