WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson was hours from making the first defence of his world title in March against Miguel Marriaga in New York until the rise of the pandemic saw the show called off.
Now he admits he may not make a defence of the title, unless he gets his dream fight of a unification with IBF champion Josh Warrington. If that’s doesn’t happen – and it seems unlikely – he says he will move up to super featherweight.
BoxingScene.com reported on Wednesday, that plans are being put together for Stevenson to return in a main event ESPN will televise June 9 from an undetermined MGM property in Las Vegas. And that fight would take place at 130-pounds.
“If I can fight Warrington next, I will stay, but if I can’t fight Warrington I am moving up,” Stevenson said.
“I haven’t been told anything yet. I’m still training, I’m living day to day. I was very close, but I am hoping that when they allow fights to happen again that they let me fight first, I feel I deserve it.
“I’m not out of shape, I’ve been training, if I get the call, I will be ready.
“At 130, probably [Miguel] Berchelt is the best. It should be an easy fight to make, but I think [Oscar] Valdez gets him first. Berchelt might win that, though.”
There should be no shortage on intriguing fights ahead, though. Between featherweight, super-featherweight and lightweight, there is a real glut of exciting young American boxers, including Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez and Gervonta Davis.
“I fought Ryan in the amateurs, me and Devin were on the same team, so I am very familiar with all those guys,” Stevenson said.
“If I picked the best of them, I would have to choose probably Devin. If we end up at the same weight, we could end up having some great fights. We’re not there right now.”
As for Lopez, Stevenson would not write off his chances of causing an upset against Vasiliy Lomachenko. “His best chance is to knock Lomachenko out,” Stevenson said. “As the fight goes on, it’s going to get tougher and tougher.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.