Shakur Stevenson stepped into the squared circle immediately after Devin Haney was awarded a unanimous decision victory versus Vasiliy Lomachenko and made it clear that the undisputed lightweight champion’s next contest should come against him. 

In the days following the matchup, the southpaw Stevenson has been doubling down on his stance. 

“My honest words that I would have to say to [the Haneys] is it’s time. This is the moment that we’ve been waiting for our whole lives. It’s time. Let’s make it happen,” Stevenson said on the “Stamina For Sale” YouTube channel.

“Devin is a good fighter. He did better than I expected [against Lomachenko]. When I went back and re-watched it, he did a lot better than I thought. Devin is a competitive fighter. That’s the best thing that he’s got. 

“When I got in the ring, I wanted a call out because that’s what [Haney] did with Lomachenko. He jumped in the ring when [Lomachenko] fought Jermaine Ortiz. Bill keeps saying nobody is calling his phone. So, I just wanted to get in front of his face. When I got in front of his face, Bill didn’t even look my way. Bill ain’t even acknowledged me and Devin, he said something, and as he said it, he walked away. Everybody knows what I said. I said, ‘For now.’ He said, ‘I’m No. 1.’ I agree with him. I don’t take anything away from Devin. He is No. 1 – but I told him ‘for now.’” 

The 25-year-old former two-division champion Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) is the latest entrant in the loaded lightweight division. He made his division debut in grand fashion in April by stopping Shuichiro Yoshino inside six rounds.

“Nah, I don’t need one more fight [at 135 pounds]. I’m ready to fight [Haney] as soon as he’s ready. He just fought. So as soon as he’s settled down and can get himself together, I’m ready to fight,” said Stevenson. 

One of the most significant storylines impacting the potential fight is whether or not Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) will have a future at 135 pounds. 

The career-long lightweight has been non-committal to his future plans in the weight class. 

“He’s not going to be No. 1 for long. If he was smart, that would be his best bet [to move up to 140 pounds],” said Stevenson. “If his team were smart, it would be strategic for him to go and fight the fighters at 140, and I’m not saying that 140 is a weaker division. I just feel as though he’d probably be a lot stronger, and he may feel a lot better at 140 than draining all the way down to 135 and fighting a fighter like me.” 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at], or via