The Nevada State Athletic Commission approved three in-state officials Wednesday to work the Shakur Stevenson-Joet Gonzalez featherweight title fight Saturday night in Reno, Nevada.
Their 12-round encounter for the unclaimed WBO 126-pound crown will be judged by Nevada’s Eric Cheek and Dave Moretti, as well as Connecticut’s Glenn Feldman. Nevada’s Tim Cheatham and Patricia Morse Jarman and California’s Max DeLuca also were included in the pool of potential judges NSAC executive director Bob Bennett considered submitting at the commission’s monthly meeting in Las Vegas.
The NSAC also assigned Nevada’s Vic Drakulich as the referee for the Stevenson-Gonzalez bout. Bennett recommended Drakulich over veteran Nevada referees Robert Byrd, Jay Nady and Tony Weeks.
The 22-year-old Stevenson (12-0, 7 KOs), of Newark, New Jersey, and the 26-year-old Gonzalez (23-0, 14 KOs), of Glendora, California, will meet in neutral territory. Their fight will headline an 11-bout card at Reno-Sparks Convention Center.
ESPN+ will stream their 126-pound championship match as the main event of a show set to start at 10 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. PDT. Undercard coverage will begin on ESPN+ at 6:30 p.m. EDT/3:30 p.m. PDT.
Stevenson, a silver medalist at the 2016 Summer Olympics, is consistently listed as a 5-1 favorite to beat Gonzalez. Their title fight is more personal than most for both boxers because Stevenson has been dating Gonzalez’s younger sister, aspiring Olympic boxer Jajaira Gonzalez, for the past three years (https://www.boxingscene.com/joet-gonzalez-shakur-stevenson-not-good-enough-my-sister--142622).
Stevenson, a southpaw who’s ranked No. 1 at featherweight by the WBO, and the second-ranked Gonzalez will fight for the WBO belt that Mexico’s Oscar Valdez vacated to move up to 130 pounds. Valdez (26-0, 20 KOs) has agreed to meet Mexico’s Andres Gutierrez (38-2-1, 25 KOs) in a 10-round junior lightweight fight November 30 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.