American heavyweight prospect Stephan “Big Shot” Shaw has been out of the professional boxing ring since December of last year, and will, unfortunately, have to wait a little while longer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been a little rough. I haven’t been going to the gym how I would like to,” Shaw said. “It’s a process. Still getting adjusted, but good things have come up out of this [like] spending time with my family. Being on the road, being in hotels most of the time, and traveling due to fighting. I’m [usually] away from my children and my wife so it’s just much needed time for me to bond with my children and watch my children grow and just be a part of their everyday life.”
While it has been difficult for Shaw to train the way he would like to, he is still making an effort to stay in shape.
“I'm running a lot & recently there was a private gym that opened up and I’ve been trying to work out in there this week, so it’s kind of getting back to normal but we’re still being cautious,” says Shaw.
Fighting out of St. Louis, Missouri, Shaw owns a professional boxing record of 13 wins and 0 losses, with 10 of his wins coming by way of knockout. The 27-year-old believes that his punching power and ring IQ is what carries him to victory.
“I’m a guy that possesses heavy hands and power in each hand and behind each punch, but I can box as well. I have a high ring IQ, good timing, good power, good boxing ability & good footwork. I’m a true student of the game and I’ve been around boxing my entire life.”
Boxing has always been a family affair for “Big Shot”.
“My grandfather, he was a trainer. He’s been a trainer for over 40 years in boxing. My father, he used to box and he was the one that actually introduced me to boxing. I’m just keeping the legacy going and taking our surname to the next level.”
For the past few years, Shaw has had the opportunity of sparring many top heavyweights, including Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz during their championship title reigns, as well as Dominic Breazeale, Charles Martin & Gerald Washington. Having been in the ring with those fighters has done much for Shaw’s confidence, as he acknowledges the sparring has helped out his own career.
“It’s great sparring with those world championship-caliber fighters. They help me prep for my bouts, like I help them prepare for their bouts. I take a lot from Deontay as well. Going to his camp and bonding with all those guys down there and seeing how a true champion conducts himself.”
While a 13-fight record may suggest that a fighter is inexperienced, Shaw has been around elite-level talent since his teenage years. Before turning professional, Shaw was a decorated amateur standout in the United States, trained on the U.S. Olympic team for the 2012 games and even roomed with current IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant.
“It was a great experience for me. I feel like that was one of the turning points of my career, being in the Olympic training center and on the Olympic team, bonding with all of those guys and to see all of those guys accomplish everything. And for all the alternates and training partners like Robert Easter to become world champion, and Caleb Plant [who] was my roommate, it’s a blessing.”
As boxing nears its return, the possibility of fighters having to compete behind closed doors is becoming more and more likely. But that isn’t a problem for Shaw, as he is eager to return to the ring under any circumstances.
“At this point, my man, I would fight in an empty backyard. I want everything to go back to normal, but if they have us fighting in an empty arena, I’d be delighted to get back in there, doing my thing again and get back going.”
Shaw wants to fight, but he has yet to hear from his team about any significant plans for a return fight. “As of right now, nothing is happening and I haven’t got word of anything happening so I’m just spending downtime with my children, my wife. And gyms are starting to open back up so I’m starting to get myself back into great shape and conditioning so that way I can be ready when everything is over with.”