Shakur Stevenson headlined the first post-pandemic show for Top Rank and now has the honor of headlining the company’s final card of the year.
The 2016 Olympic Silver medalist and unbeaten former featherweight titlist faces Toka Kahn Clary (28-2, 19KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout at junior lightweight. Both fighters made weight for their main event, which takes place Saturday evening at The Bubble at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Stevenson weighed 130 pounds for his second fight in the junior lightweight division, where he aims to become a two-division titlist. The rising young star made weight on his second attempt, stripping naked after initially weighing 130 ½ pounds.
Kahn Clary checked in at 129 pounds. The 28-year old southpaw from Providence by way of Liberia aims to extend his three fight win streak since an October 2018 loss to Kid Galahad.
With a win, Stevenson will be steered towards a 130-pound title, two of which are in control of his promoter Top Rank—WBO titlist Jamel Herring (22-2, 10KOs) and long-reigning WBC beltholder Miguel Berchelt (38-1, 35KOs). His debut at the weight came in the very first show from the Vegas bubble, when he stopped Puerto Rico’s Felix Caraballo in the 6th round this past June.
The evening’s chief support pits San Juan’s Felix Verdejo (27-1, 17KOs) and Osaka, Japan’s Masayoshi Nakatani (18-1, 12KOs) in a scheduled 10-round lightweight contest. Both boxers weighed 135 pounds.
Verdejo has won four straight since a 10th round knockout loss to Antonio Lozada in March 2018. The 2012
By his own admission, rising knockout artist Edgar Berlanga is eager to end his 1st round knockout streak and finally go some rounds. His fans and handlers are just fine, however, with seeing if he can make it 16 in a row inside the opening round in as many pro fights.
The unbeaten Nuyorican from Brooklyn takes on San Diego’s Ulises Sierra in a scheduled 8-round super middleweight contest. Berlanga (15-0, 15KOs) weighed 169 pounds for his third fight in less than six months. Sierra (15-1-2, 9KOs)—who has never been stopped or dropped in 18 pro fights—weighed 167.5 pounds for his first fight since a points loss to Vladimir Shishkin this past January in Sloan, Iowa.
All three bouts air live on ESPN beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox