Shakur Stevenson vs. Felix Caraballo possible for June 9
By Allan Fox: Shakur Stevenson could be facing second tier featherweight Felix Caraballo (13-1-2, 9 K.O.s) on June 9 in a behind closed doors fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Michael Benson, the Nevada State Athletic Commission will be meeting next week on Wednesday to decide on the fight.
Stevenson was supposed to be fighting Manuel Rivera (27-4-2, 18 K.O.), but the Mexican fighter can’t leave his home country of Mexico to enter the U.S. to take the fight. Rivera isn’t ranked in the top 15 by any of the four sanctioning bodies, and he’s lost three out of his last five fights. That would have been a stay busy fight for Stevenson.
Caraballo is likely around the same talent level as Rivera, so there’s no real loss but also no gain. Unless Stevenson takes it easy on Caraballo, this fight could end early.
Shakur wants to fight IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington, but that fight has proven to be difficult to put together. Some boxing fans believe that Warrington doesn’t fancy the idea of facing Stevenson.
The same applies to Carl Frampton. Stevenson might be too skilled for either of those two U.K. fighters to handle, so we might not see either of those fights take place soon if ever.
Stevenson with limited options for opponents
Until this fight is a done deal, you have to be a little skeptical that it happens. Even then, you just don’t know. Staging fights behind closed doors make it tricky to put fights together.
When you add in the travel restrictions that prevent foreign fighters from coming to the U.S., it makes it a formidable task to put any halfway decent fight together.
It’s important for fighters like Stevenson to stay busy with their careers. With the pandemic, it’s difficult to get quality opponents that can fly into the United States to fight guys like Stevenson. Unless the travel restrictions are lifted, fighters fro the States will need to settle for whatever they can get in terms of competition.
They’ll like to give the green light for the 22-year-old Stevenson to face Caraballo in a fight that won’t have any titles on the line. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Stevenson holds the WBO 126-pound belt. Still, there’s little chance that the Nevada Commission would permit for him to defend against a non-ranked fighter like Caraballo, but you never know.
The Commission sanctioned Floyd Mayweather Jr’s fight against UFC fighter Conor McGregor as counting as a professional fight despite the UFC fighter having a 0-0 record and never having fought a professional fight before.
Robeisy Ramirez had been rumored to be Stevenson’s opponent
Caraballo’s only career loss came in January 2018 in a one-sided eight-round unanimous decision to Pedro Marquez Medina (12-1, 8 K.O.s). Earlier in Caraballo’s six-year professional career, he was held to consecutive draws against Juan Carlos Sepulveda and Luis Saul Rosario.
Recently, there were rumors of two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramírez being the opponent for Stevenson on June 9. Stevenson replied to the rumor with this comment on Twitter:
“I wish that was true.”
Stevenson lost to the Cuban fighter Ramirez by a 2-1 score in the 2016 Olympics final in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ramirez looked a little bit better, but Stevenson felt that he’d done enough to win. If the two fought now, it would be a toss-up match.
Although Ramirez shockingly lost his first professional fight by a four-round split decision last August to Adan Gonzales, he’s improved his game immensely in his last two fights in destroying Fernando Ibarra De Anda and Rafael Morales. Ramirez is the type of fighter that needs to train hard for him to win, and he looked like he wasn’t in the greatest shape for his first professional fight against Gonzalez.
An in-shape Ramirez would be a lot of trouble for Shakur if the two were to fight right now, and it would make for an exciting fight. It still bothers Stevenson that he lost to Ramirez, and he would like nothing better than to face him. Top Rank will likely match those two together at some point in the future.
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