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Bob Arum moving slowly on Josh Warrington vs. Shakur Stevenson talks

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By Tim Royner: Bob Arum is moving carefully in negotiating a unification fight between IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington and WBO champion Shakur Stevenson. Arum says if he’s successful in putting the Warrington vs. Stevenson fight together, it’ll take place in the UK.

The Top Rank Boxing promoter Arum says he and the 22-year-old Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs) are in agreement that the Warrington fight should take place in the UK. 2016 Olympic silver medalist Shakur is willing to fight Warrington (30-0, 7 KOs) in the UK, and he has no problem with traveling.

Arum might be making a mistake in putting the young Stevenson in with a seasoned professional like Warrington. This could end badly for Stevenson, who isn’t a big puncher, and he’s vulnerable.

Location for Warrington-Stevenson fight being discussed

“We’d love to do that fight. We’re treading slowly,” said Arum to Boxing Slocial in talking about talks for a fight between Josh Warrington and Shakur Stevenson. “One of the issues is where that fight belongs, and I think we’ve come to the conclusion that fight should be in the UK.

“Warrington is a tremendous attraction in Leed, and Shakur, who is a gutty, cocky guy, having just won a 126-pound title against the brother [Joet Gonzalez] of his girlfriend, that made it an interesting event, would be happy to go across the pond to do that fight,” said Arum about Stevenson.

Stevenson will be taking a risk with his career

Agreeing to fight Warrington in the UK will make putting the fight easier for Arum and Stevenson, and it’s a match that they both want. Stevenson is trying to become a star, and he wants to build fan base both in the U.S and in the UK. By taking the fight in the UK, Stevenson can make a name in that country.

So when Stevenson comes back at a later time to fight another British fighter, it’ll be a much bigger event. There are a lot of great fights available for Stevenson once he gets foothold in the UK. It all starts with the Warrington fight though. Stevenson must win this fight for him to move on to bigger, and better things.

Arum likes Warrington vs. Stevenson fight

“So we’ll be working on that fight in the weeks ahead,” said Arum about the Warrington vs. Stevenson fight. “I mean, I love that fight. I think it would be terrific. Warrington never stops throwing punches, and is really interesting in that regard. And in Shakur, he has a guy that I label as the ‘left-handed Floyd Mayweather,’ because he’s such a great defensive fighter,” said Arum.

It’s going to be a hard fight for Stevenson, because the 29-year-old Warrington is at his best right now. Warrington has looked great in his last four fights in beating these fighters:

  • Sofiane Takoucht
  • Lee Selby
  • Kid Galahad
  • Carl Frampton

A lot of boxing fans expected Warrington to lose to Frampton when that fight was first set-up, but Josh proved people wrong in outworking him. Warrington’s high volume punching is what made the difference in the fight.

Arum is really high on Stevenson in calling him the “left-handed Floyd Mayweather,” but he lacks the hand speed and the willingness to stand his ground. Mayweather was a better puncher, and more complete fighter when he fought in the lower weight classes.




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