It was never supposed to be this difficult. In fact, considering the names Top Rank has at their disposal, Shakur Stevenson figured that landing a lightweight showdown against one of the division’s elite would be relatively easy.

Before he officially made the move up in weight, George Kambosos Jr., Jamaine Ortiz, Vasiliy Lomachenko, and the current undisputed champ - Devin Haney - were all associated with Bob Arum’s promotional banner. One year later, however, things have changed drastically.

Haney is no longer affiliated with Top Rank, having completed his three-fight deal, he now remains a promotional free agent. Ortiz, due to his consistent issues with making weight, may never compete in the lightweight division again. Kambosos has shown little interest in facing Stevenson and according to the former silver medalist, Lomachenko has turned down a lucrative offer to fight him.

Although he’s patient in the ring, Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) isn’t a fan of exhibiting that same characteristic outside of it. With just one appearance this year, a sixth-round stoppage win over Shuichiro Yoshino, Stevenson is hoping to land a bigger fight before 2023 comes to a close.

At this point, nevertheless, Stevenson is running out of options. In addition to Lomachenko and Haney, the Newark, New Jersey, native would love to share the ring with Frank Martin, Gervonta Davis, and Isaac Cruz - all of which are highly unlikely to take place.

As the clock continues to wind down, Stevenson is coming to grips with the possibility that he may not land the big fight that he was hoping for. Regardless of how things shake out, he now appears willing to face every and anyone, in spite of their skill level.

“Tell the rest of these mfs line up,” said Stevenson on his social media account. “I’m ready for anybody. I don’t care who it is.”