(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
The success of American boxer Shakur Stevenson in the Olympics _ he fights for a gold medal this weekend _ has raised the inevitable questions about the 19-year-old fighter's professional career.
Stevenson has been widely expected to begin his pro career with Top Rank Promotions this fall, but he has another well-heeled suitor: Floyd Mayweather Jr. The recently retired boxer runs an eponymous promotional company, but has no stars under contract with the potential drawing power of Stevenson.
Stevenson declined to confirm he had teamed up with Mayweather to be his promoter or in another capacity, grinningly saying he hasn't even decided whether he will go pro.
"I'm going to focus on winning the gold medal, and after I win the gold medal, I'm going to weigh my options and see what's next for me," he said.
But Stevenson spoke adoringly of the retired champion after meeting him earlier in the Rio tournament. Mayweather, who attended Stevenson's fights, subsequently referred to Stevenson as "the next Floyd Mayweather."
"If he calls me and tells me stuff, I'll take it, but I'm focused," Stevenson said. "I'm ready. It don't matter who I talk to."
Stevenson grew up in Newark, New Jersey, as the oldest of nine children. He was named after rapper Tupac Shakur, who was killed nine months before Stevenson was born.