LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson said knockout specialist Jeremiah Nakathila was scary at times during their 12-round bout.

Judging from his dominating performance on Saturday night — and the judges’ scorecards — he certainly didn’t appear scared.

Stevenson unanimously outpointed Jeremiah Nakathila to take the vacant WBO interim junior lightweight title, winning by identical scores of 120-107 from all three judges.

“I feel like I kind of hurt him early and he kind of got scary for the rest of the fight,” said Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist. “I feel like that was an awkward fighter in front of me. He knew how to do just enough to keep me from jumping on him. … I feel like I could’ve done more.”

In what was billed as a battle of the organization’s top two contenders, Nakathila looked anything but a top contender, with the 23-year-old Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs) dominating from the outset in his third bout at 130 pounds.

Stevenson used a methodical approach to pepper Nakathila — who had a two-inch height advantage — with constant lefts, while occasionally working the body. Stevenson, who knocked Nakathila down with a short right in the fourth round, landed 37.5% (114 of 304) of the punches he threw, according to CompuBox stats.

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Nakathila (21-2, 17 KOs), who struggled to land punches the entire fight, missing with big, looping right hooks, lost for just the second time in his career. Nakathila landed 9.2% (28 of 305) of his punches, including only one punch in five of the rounds.

“It was times where I could see (an opportunity to) punch, and I didn’t capitalize on it,” Stevenson said. “I’d make him miss sometimes and it’d be right there in front of me, but he’d hurry up and pull back. I really was being careful. He’s got power, too. I started walking forward and trying to set it up. He was real scary.”

Though Stevenson has made it crystal clear he wants a shot at WBC champion Oscar Valdez, but likely has a date later this year with WBO titlist Jamel Herring, who was one of the roughly 1,800 fans inside The Theater at Virgin Hotel and Casino.

“If I had the choice, I’d take Oscar Valdez; but if I have to beat up Jamel to get to it, I’ll do that, too,” Stevenson said. “He can’t beat me, I stand on that. He can’t beat me. None of them fighters at 130 can beat me, I stand on that. They get in there, it’s gonna be a lot worse for them.

“Jamel is not as good as I am. I feel like I’m the best defensive boxer in boxing. Jamel can’t do nothing with me.”

Watching from just behind his prodigy’s corner was pound-for-pound great Terrence Crawford, who helped Stevenson prepare for the fight with sparring sessions during his training camp.

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“I appreciate his support, I appreciate everything that he does to help me,” Stevenson said. “I’m gonna go back in the gym and I’m gonna go work with him and work on my game some more.”

In the co-featured main event, two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza (28-3) won by TKO after the eighth round, when Julian Rodriguez’s (21-1) cornermen told referee Kenny Bayless their fighter couldn’t continue with his left eye closed.

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