Shakur Stevenson made sure Monday that he wasn’t overweight for his debut in the junior lightweight division.
Wearing a mask and foot coverings as COVID-19 precautions, the 22-year-old Stevenson stepped on the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s scale at exactly 130 pounds at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Bob Bennett, the NSAC’s executive director, first announced Stevenson’s weight as 130.2 pounds for his fight against Felix Caraballo on Tuesday night. Adamant about weighing in within the junior lightweight limit of 130 pounds, Stevenson stepped on the scale a second time and weighed 130.
The unbeaten WBO featherweight champion’s opponent, Puerto Rico’s Caraballo, officially weighed 130½ pounds when he first got on the scale. He returned about an hour later at precisely 130 pounds, the contracted maximum for his fight versus Stevenson.
ESPN will televise Stevenson-Caraballo, a 10-round, non-title bout, as the main event of a five-fight card scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. Fans cannot attend the show, which also will take place at MGM Grand Conference Center.
The 33-year-old Caraballo (13-1-2, 9 KOs) accepted by far the most challenging fight of his six-year pro career on less than one month’s notice. Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs) is consistently listed as a 100-1 favorite to win what will be the first televised main event to take place in the United States since March 13, when Showtime aired fights from Hinckley, Minnesota.
The left-handed Stevenson, of Newark, New Jersey, will fight for the first time since he easily out-boxed Joet Gonzalez (23-1, 14 KOs) to win the then-unclaimed WBO 126-pound championship October 26 at Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada. Stevenson, the WBO’s number one contender, beat the second-ranked Gonzalez by unanimous decision in a 12-round fight for the title Oscar Valdez vacated to move up to the junior lightweight division.
Stevenson was supposed to make his first title defense against Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga (29-3, 25 KOs) on March 14 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York. The card headlined by Stevenson-Marriaga was canceled the night of March 12 once the coronavirus crisis intensified.
The Stevenson-Caraballo card was supposed to include a 10-round women’s bout between Mikaela Mayer (12-0, 5 KOs), of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Helen Joseph (17-4-2, 10 KOs), of Hamden, Connecticut. That junior lightweight fight was scratched from the show Sunday, when it was revealed Mayer tested positive for COVID-19.
The other eight fighters who’ll compete on Tuesday’s card weighed in Monday as planned. Below are the official weights for their fights.
Jared Anderson (3-0, 3 KOs), Toledo, Ohio, 236½ pounds vs. Johnnie Langston (8-2, 3 KOs), Sarasota, Florida, 218¼ pounds, 6 rounds, heavyweights.
Guido Vianello (6-0, 6 KOs), Roma, Italy, 239¼ pounds vs. Don Haynesworth (16-3-1, 14 KOs), New Rochelle, New York, 294½ pounds, 6 rounds, heavyweights.
Robeisy Ramirez (2-1, 2 KOs), Gulfport, Florida, 126 pounds vs. Yeuri Andujar (5-3, 3 KOs), San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, 125½ pounds, 6 rounds, featherweights.
Calvin Metcalf (10-3-1, 3 KOs), Kansas City, Missouri, 158¼ pounds vs. Quatavious Cash (11-2, 7 KOs), Atlanta, 160½ pounds, 6 rounds, middleweights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.