By Keith Idec
NEWARK, N.J. – Shakur Stevenson intends to exact revenge on Robeisy Ramirez at some point.
For now, Stevenson plans to make Hairon Socarras pay July 13 for his split-decision defeat to Ramirez in the 123-pound gold-medal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Like Ramirez, Socarras is Cuban.
Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs) and Socarras (22-0-3, 14 KOs) will square off in a 10-round main event ESPN will televise next month from Prudential Center in Stevenson’s hometown of Newark.
“I don’t even know dude name,” Stevenson said during a press conference Monday at The Hilton Newark Penn Station. “Hammerin’ whatever – he gotta go. He gotta go. The last Cuban I fought, he beat me, so man, he gotta get punished for the last Cuban. July 13th, I’m ready to show out.”
Stevenson is off to a strong start to a professional career that began after Ramirez edged him in August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. In his last fight, the 21-year-old southpaw scored a relatively easy, 10-round, unanimous-decision win over Christopher Diaz (24-2, 16 KOs) on April 20 at Madison Square Garden.
Miami’s Socarras, 26, is unbeaten, but Stevenson should emerge as the toughest opponent of his career. Socarras, who didn’t attend the press conference, has been matched modestly since he turned pro in February 2011.
“I’ve seen film on him,” Stevenson told BoxingScene.com following the press conference. “I don’t know his name. He’s not bad, though. He thinks in there. He picks his punches good. I think he’s gonna play my game and I don’t think he’s gonna win at my game. We’re gonna see.”
A rematch with Ramirez is in the back of Stevenson’s mind, especially since the company that promotes him, Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., recently signed Ramirez. The 25-year-old Ramirez, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is expected to make his pro debut sometime this summer.
“Sooner or later, me and Robeisy are gonna have to get that back,” Stevenson said. “I’m gonna wait until he gets his chance, because I’m probably gonna be a world champion before he even gets to that point.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.