By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Shakur Stevenson needs a new opponent for his homecoming fight.
Miami’s Hairon Socarras has pulled out of their 10-round featherweight bout scheduled for July 13 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Their fight, Stevenson’s first as a pro in his hometown, was announced Monday during a press conference in Newark.
Socarras didn’t attend the press conference, but the Cuban-born boxer had agreed to terms for a main event ESPN was to televise. Carl Moretti, vice president of boxing operations for Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., told BoxingScene.com on Sunday that Stevenson’s promoter is looking for an opponent to replace Socarras on about four weeks’ notice.
Moretti added that Top Rank wasn’t given a straight answer as to why Socarras (22-0-3, 14 KOs) withdrew from a fight against the 2016 Olympic silver medalist.
“I can confirm that [Socarras] has pulled out of the fight,” Moretti said. “I cannot confirm as to exactly why. I’ve heard so much bullsh*t from their team. I just wish they never would have accepted the fight in the first place. We will name a replacement shortly.”
Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs) took the news in stride when discussing the situation with BoxingScene.com following the Tyson Fury-Tom Schwarz card Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“They said they wanted some more money or something like that,” Stevenson said. “I think he’s trying to price himself out. He don’t really wanna fight me. They’re trying to find me someone else.”
Socarras, 26, is unbeaten, but Stevenson would’ve been the toughest opponent of his career. Socarras has faced mostly a low level of opposition since he turned pro in February 2011.
Stevenson, who’ll turn 22 on June 28, produced the most impressive victory of his two-year pro career in his last fight. The skillful southpaw soundly beat Puerto Rico’s Christopher Diaz (24-2, 16 KOs) by unanimous decision in that bout, a 10-rounder April 20 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.