Those last few days spent by Shakur Stevenson going through the process of making weight for his eventually canceled title defense are likely the final time he will attempt to compete as a featherweight.
That said, there is that one fight to keep the 2016 Olympic Silver medalist and currently undefeated 126-pound titlist in the division.
“Honestly, if I had the choice, I would be fighting (unbeaten featherweight titlist Josh) Warrington,” Stevenson (13-0, 7KOs) confirmed in a recent interview with Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher. “But I’m hearing Warrington say he wanna fight [current secondary featherweight titlist Xu Can] or something like that. He’s got two losses, he got the interim title, not the super.
“They said they can bump him up for the fight or something like that. I don’t understand that when he can fight a whole champion, one that’s undefeated and got a bigger name than that dude that you planning on fighting.”
Stevenson and England’s Warrington (30-0. 7KOs) have circled one another for more than a year, but having resulted in a lot of talk and no in-ring action. Stevenson has long ago offered to travel to the United Kingdom to make the fight happen, more so ever since claiming his first major title last October.
Bob Arum, Stevenson’s Hall of Fame promoter first decided on a quick ring turnaround for the 22-year old from Newark, New Jersey, having scheduled a voluntary defense versus Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga (29-3, 25KOs). Their bout was due to take place March 14 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City, but was pulled two days prior in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“I was in the tub losing my last few pounds,” Stevenson recalls of when and where he received word that the ESPN-televised event was no longer happening. “Then they called me and told me to get out the tub because I’m not fighting. Then I got out the tub and wanted to make sure it was true before I went and ate. Then I called my managers and they said it was true.”
However close he was to making weight at the time, Stevenson will have four less pounds to worry about shedding the next time he enters the ring—unless he’s enticed to remain put one more time.
“I’m moving up to 130 my next fight,” Stevenson insists. “I’m moving up for sure. Unless it’s Warrington, unless he pushes that other fight aside and fight me.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox