Josh Warrington wants Shakur Stevenson ‘SOONER rather than later’
By Charles Brun: IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington says he wants to fight WBO 126-pound champion, Shakur Stevenson, as soon as possible. The problem with that is Warrington’s management will be looking to match him against the light-hitting WBA’ regular champion Can Xu (18-2, 3 K.O.s) after the lockdown ends.
Also, Stevenson appears to be on his way up to 130 to start campaigning at super-featherweight. With Stevenson’s boxing skills, he would pick Warrington apart the entire fight from the outside and win a lopsided 12 round decision.
Stevenson’s boxing skills would trouble Warrington
Warrington is a volume puncher, who needs to be at close range for him to get his shots off. That’s not going to happen if he faces Stevenson, which could be one Warrington hasn’t shown any urgency to make the fight with him.
It’s believed that Warrington, 29, wants to fight the 22-year-old Stevenson before he gets a little older, and improve to the level where he’ll be much too good.
Even now, Warrington (30-0, 7 K.O.s) would have very little chance of beating the talented 2016 Olympic silver medalist Stevenson. Hence, this could be why Warrington’s management is aiming him towards the little known Chinese fighter Can Xu rather than Stevenson. It’s soft match-making 101.
“He hasn’t been in deep water situations. He talks confidently about coming over to the U.K. and fighting me in my backyard. But he hasn’t been in those kinds of scenarios,” said Warrington to Sky Sports about Stevenson.
Stevenson improving doesn’t worry Warrington
“I don’t worry about him [Shakur] getting better and better. Some people peak early. He’s a big featherweight – I want to fight him sooner rather than later, not because I’m worried about him improving, but he’s mentioned that he wants to move up divisions.,” said Warrington.
The logical question is if Warrington wants to fight Stevenson before he moves up to 130, which is supposed to happen after the lockdown, then why isn’t he giving his management their marching orders to make the fight with him?
There’s no interest from boxing fans in the U.K. or the U.S. in a fight between Warrington and the 26-year-old Xu. That fight is just a time-filler for Warrington, and it’s one that won’t be worth making. The only fights worthwhile to make at 126 for Warrington are against these fighters:
- Gary Russell, Jr.
- Shakur Stevenson
- Tugstsogt Nyambayar
- Jessie Magdaleno
If Warrington wanted the fight with Stevenson, he could tell his management that has ZERO interest in facing WBA secondary 126-pound champion Can Xu. It’s entirely up to Warrington. If he wants the fight with Stevenson, he can make it, but it doesn’t look as if he’s up for that clash.
You can’t blame Warrington if he’s worried about losing to the talented American. The way that Warrington looked against the weight raised Carl Frampton and the close call that he had against Kid Galahad, he would stand little chance against Stevenson.
Warrington should target Russell Jr.
Warrington is already coming off of a second-round knockout over 34-year-old fringe contender Sofiane Takoucht (35-4-1, 13 K.O.s) last December in Leeds. Instead of fighting one of the talented fighters like Stevenson, Warrington opted to face the little known French fighter Takoucht in a clash that few fans took notice of.
Since it doesn’t look like Warrington wants any part of Stevenson, then he needs to face WBC champion Gary Russell Jr. because he’s been looking to get a fight against him for a while now. If Warrington waits on the Russell Jr. fight, he could lose out on it because he’s talking about wanting to move up to 135 to go after the big names in that weight class.
Stevenson (13-0, 7 K.O.s) has looked sensational recently in beating Joet Gonzalez, Alberto Guevara, and Christopher Diaz. It’s too easy for Stevenson at 126, and there’s no one for him to fight. Stevenson probably should have moved up to 130 two years ago because the 126-pound is devoid of talent.
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