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Shakur Stevenson says he’s got “Big surprise” for next fight

Image: Shakur Stevenson says he's got "Big surprise" for next fight

By Jim Calfa: WBO super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson says he’s got a “big surprise” for fans with his next opponent when he returns to the ring. On Wednesday, the unbeaten Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) told his fans that he would be facing someone special.

Already, boxing fans are speculating that Shakur’s promoters at Top Rank plan to have Vasily Lomachenko move down in weight from lightweight to face him.

Lomachenko is arguably the only one brave enough to face Shakur, as long as Top Rank offers him the right kind of money.

Stevenson & Lomachenko have sparred before, and it’s reported that Loma had problems landing his shots against the New Jersey native.

Other than Lomachenko and Oscar Valdez, it’s hard to predict who else could potentially be Shakur’s opponent that he’s talking about.

Assuming that Top Rank is pooling from the 126, 130, to 135-lb divisions in picking Shakur’s next foe, it could be one of these fighters:

  •  Emanuel Navarrete
  • Miguel Berchelt
  • Kid Galahad
  • Rey Vargas
  • Stephen Fulton
  • Chris Colbert
  • Rolando Romero

If it’s not Lomachenko and Valdez, Top Rank may match Stevenson against Colbert or Navarrete. Those would be excellent choices for Stevenson to fight next, and it draws a lot of interest from boxing fans.

The top lightweights in the division are freezing out Lomachenko, and that’s not likely to change. Lomachenko is too talented to be given a chance to fight the mostly limited lightweight fighters at the top of the division, which is why it makes sense for him to move back down to 130 to challenge Shakur for his WBO belt.

Image: Shakur Stevenson says he's got "Big surprise" for next fight

The new undisputed lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. has mentioned Lomachenko’s name as one of the fighters in the running for his title defense in May. Still, few boxing fans genuinely believe that the Australian will choose him.

They believe that Kambosos will go with the soft pick in choosing WBC 135-lb champion Devin Haney, who can’t punch and has been hurt repeatedly in his last two fights against Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. and Jorge Linares.

Stevenson, 24, has talked recently of wanting to face the former three-division world champion Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs), and if not him, he wanted Oscar Valdez.

It’s safe to say that WBC 130-lb champion Valdez WON’T be the one that the 2016 Olympic silver medalist Stevenson is fighting next.

There’s been no interest on Valdez’s part in taking on Shakur, and Topp Rank boss Bob Arum hasn’t seemed eager to make that fight for obvious reasons.

Valdez is a popular fighter, and if Arum lets him fight Stevenson, he’ll likely lose badly. Subsequently, Arum would wreck one of his essential revenue streams, and he’s NOT going to allow that to happen.

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