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Shakur Stevenson vs. Joet Gonzalez Ordered For Vacant WBO Title

By Jake Donovan

Top Rank and Shakur Stevenson are heading back to the negotiating table in pursuit of the featherweight title.

The unbeaten rising contender will contend for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight title, which was recently vacated by long-reigning undefeated titlist Oscar Valdez who will now campaign at featherweight. Rather than naming his next opponent, however, Stevenson (12-0, 7KOs) and Top Rank have been ordered to come to terms with the next-highest ranked challenger, California’s Joet Gonzalez.

“Please be advised the parties have thirty (30) days upon receipt of this letter to negotiate and reach an agreement regarding the Vacant WBO Featherweight Championship Contest between Shakur Stevenson and Joet Gonzalez,” Luis Batista Salas, chairman of WBO championship committee stated in a letter submitted to Rank and Golden Boy Promotions (Gonzalez’s promoter) on Tuesday.

“If an accord is not reached within the time frame set forth herein, a Purse Bid will be ordered pursuant with the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.”

shakur-stevenson_23

Should the matter go to purse bid, the fight will be eligible for all WBO-registered promoters, providing the winning bid is at least $150,000.

Stevenson advanced to the top of the WBO featherweight rankings shortly after his 12-round win over former title challenger Christopher Diaz this past April in New York City.

The 2016 Olympic Silver medalist from Newark, N.J. returned home for his next—and most recent—fight, a 3rd round knockout of late replacement Alberto Guevara this past July.

Little did he know at the time his next opponent was also in a boxing ring that evening, even if some 2,800 miles away.

Gonzalez (23-0, 14KOs) has been calling for a title fight since his first fight of 2019, which came this past March. However, it was his last win, a 6th round stoppage of Manuel Avila in Carson, Calif.—live on DAZN while Stevenson was headlining on ESPN on the other side of the country—that guaranteed his place in line right behind his fellow unbeaten contender.

Once the title became vacant, Gonzalez—managed by Frank Espinoza, as is Valdez—and Stevenson now share the same direct path to the crown.

The ordered fight also leaves Top Rank to work with Golden Boy Promotions in reaching a deal. The two sides aren’t regular business partners these days—Top Rank as the primary content provider for ESPN and Golden Boy enjoying an output deal with DAZN—but normally manage to get the job done when it comes to finalizing terms for mandatory title fights. 

The next 30 days will prove whether they can continue that trend.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ADBROUSSARD on 08-08-2019

[QUOTE=Shvslim91;19968581]You monkeys talk a lot which is probably why the Mexicans always **** y’all up especially in La anyway blacky you just got your belt how About a few title defenses first Berchelt defended his five times you’re just like…

Comment by ADBROUSSARD on 08-08-2019

Yo! S A. Watch your tone bro. WE Blacks made a difference in America. We have come a long way from slaves to being Multi Millionaires, Governors of states, Doctors, Lawyers, etc., And we never rain on Mexican parades like…

Comment by Stokely on 08-07-2019

[QUOTE=Motorcity Cobra;19968452]So why make a fake page instead of using your regular page? You acting just like Valdez & Berchelt. Being a coward[/QUOTE] That’s a Mexican YouTube troll named “Ruben Velasco” aka “banana Hammock”. He goes around calling Black American…

Comment by KTFOKING on 08-07-2019

Love that this fight is going to happen in all likelihood. Stevenson will be presented with a different type of test here but he's the superior boxer and should win...In a fairly convincing way. Joet's sister was also competing for…

Comment by dukesville on 08-07-2019

[QUOTE=Motorcity Cobra;19966867]Easy work since Valdez ran. Now he wants to fight Berchelt but wants a tune up first. Berchelt calling out guys he knows he's not going to get but won't unify with Herring but will wait on Valdez to…

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