By Max Seitelman: Shakur Stevenson is targeting the winner of the October 24th fight between Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Leo Santa Cruz, and he’s also interested in facing Josh Warrington if he’s willing to come up to 130. Tank is the biggest fight for Stevenson at 130, and he can’t wait to take him on if he gets past Santa Cruz.
The 2016 U.S Olympic silver medalist Shakur isn’t sure if Tank Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) will stay at 130 if he beats Santa Cruz, though, but he’s hoping he does. If not, then Stevenson says he won’t be keen on facing Santa Cruz if he loses to Tank. Shakur doesn’t want to fight the loser of that match because there’s nothing for him to gain.
Former WBO featherweight champion Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs) desires to capture a couple of titles at 130 before moving up to 135 to clean out that division. His short term goal is to win a title at super featherweight against one of the belt-holders.
Stevenson wishes to save WBC champion Miguel Berchelt for last before he makes his move to 135, which means that he’ll be looking to face one of these champions at 130 as soon as possible:
- Joseph Diaz Jr – IBF
- Leo Santa Cruz vs. Tank Davis winner – WBA
- Jamel Herring – WBO
Stevenson moving up to 135 in two years
“In two year’s time, I want to have two belts at 130, and then I’ll probably be looking to have belts at 135,” said Stevenson to IFL TV. I want to have two belts. I can’t move out of this weight class until I have at least two titles,” said Stevenson.
Shakur should be able to win two titles at 135 a lot sooner than two years, as long as his promoters at Top Rank are ready and willing to match him against WBO champ Jermell Herring and WBC belt holder Miguel Berchelt.
“That’s the least. What my plans are is me getting a title, and then me and Berchelt unifying and having a big fight. We just got to marinate it and build it up to what it’s going to be,” Shakur said.
Stevenson is going to miss out on some big fights at 135 if he insists on waiting two years before moving up to that division. Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, and Tank will likely move up to 140 in the next two years.
The only guys that will be left after they move up are the aging Vasily Lomachenko, Luke Campbell, Javier Fortuna, and Jorge Linares. There won’t be anyone worth fighting for Stevenson, and he may need to move up to 140 to chase all those fighters.
It could be a mistake for Shakur to go up to light-welterweight because his lack of power is already apparent at 130. If he goes up to 135, his power will be inadequate for the division.
But if all the talented guys with power have already moved up to 140, he might be alright, but he’ll have no one to fight. It would be best for Stevenson not to delay his move up to 135 for more than a year if he wants to take on the talented guys while he still can.
Shakur only wants Santa Cruz if he beats Tank
“I got to get better and better and show everybody that I mean what I say when I say I’m better than everybody,” said Stevenson. “I’m going to be uninterested in fighting him [Leo Santa Cruz] if Tank beats him.
“If Tank beat him, I’m not going to have the same interest. I’d probably be more interested in fighting Tank. That’s the biggest fight for me at 130 honestly if Tank stays there. But if he were to beat Tank, though.
“If Leo finds a way to win, then I’d be interested in fighting Leo. I’ll be watching and seeing how that goes. I don’t mind fighting anybody. The only thing me and Jamel [Herring] are kind of close, though.
“If we have no other choice, but I think there are other routes for me to take. No disrespect to Jamel, but I want big fights. Jamel is a world champion, but he’s not well established and has a big name. There are a lot of guys with bigger names that would be a bigger fight for me,” said Stevenson.
Assuming Tank beats Santa Cruz, and then immediately returns to the 135lb division, which is likey, then Stevenson should have Berchelt right away and then move up to 135.
We’ll have to see what type of match-making Top Rank does for Stevenson at 130.
Shakur will want Frampton if he beats Herring
“If Carl Frampton wins that fight [againt Herring], then I’m going to go whoop his a** for Jamel,” Shakur continued. “We’ll see. Carl Frampton is a good fighter. I just think he’s too small. I’ve seen him in person. He’s really small.
“Yeah, he’s too small. It would be hard for someone like me in front of him that knows the distance. He’s pretty skilled, but my skills are like [above his]. Warrington, I see him tell a story, but his story is false.
“I tried to set the fight up in March. They were the ones that were like, ‘You’ve got to wait until May for some sort of arena.’ I don’t know what it was, but they said I had to wait until May. So I’m like, I’m going to fight in March, and come right back in May or June.
“I don’t mind fighting back to back after I fight Marriaga. IF we’re realistic, a fight between him and me is a big fight without the belts. If you’re willing to fight at 130, I’ll still come over to England.
“I don’t got no problem coming over to England. I’ll still fly over to England. I’ll come to fight him in his hometown.
“As long as the money is right and the business side is good, it’ll be a big fight, and I’ll embarrass him in front of all his fans,” Shakur said.
It’s admirable that Shakur will want to avenge Herring’s loss if he loses to Frampton, but he shouldn’t bog his career down, beating all the guys that defeat him.
Herring is a decent fighter, but utterly flawed. Shakur can’t devote time trying to avenge Herring’s losses because his time as a world champion could be ending soon.