Bob Arum on Shakur Stevenson becoming undisputed champ: ‘F*** being unified champion!’
By Dan Ambrose: Bob Arum has thrown cold water on Shakur Stevenson’s goal of becoming the undisputed champion at super featherweight by capturing the last two titles against the obscure champions Kenichi Ogawa and Robert Gutierrez.
It would be a complete waste of time for Stevenson, Arum, and Top Rank to invest time putting on fights against Ogawa and Gutierrez when there are much bigger matches that can be made.
Arum points out the obvious, saying that no one knows who IBF 130-lb champion Ogawa or WBA champion Gutierez is, and fights between Shakur and them won’t bring in an audience.
Since it’s Arum and his promotional company Top Rank that would need to stick their necks out to put up the money for WBC/WBO 130-lb champion Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) to fight Ogawa and Gutierrez for him to become the undisputed champion, it’s too much of a risk.
“F*** being the unified champion. Screw that. There’s not a person in this room that knows the WBA champion or the IBF champion. So who wants to put those fights on? They’re not going to draw s***,” said Bob Arum on the idea of Shakur Stevenson becoming undisputed champion at super-featherweight by defeating IBF champion Kenichi Ogawa and WBC champion Roger Gutierrez.
The boxing public doesn’t care about the undisputed junk, as that kind of stuff goes over the heads of the casual fans. Only the ultra-hardcore boxing fans care about fighters becoming the undisputed champion because they follow the sport closely enough for it to matter.
Even in that case, fans prefer to see fights between popular fighters rather than having an undisputed championship take place when it involves two less popular fighters. For example, the June fight between unified lightweight champion George Kamboso Jr. and WBC champion Devin Haney will be for the undisputed championship.
However, that fight will arguably attract less interest than if either of them were matched against a popular fighter like Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis or Ryan Garcia.
Stevenson, 24, needs to focus on fighting opposition that the fans have heard of, like some of these fighters:
- Leo Santa Cruz
- Gervonta Davis
- Ryan Garcia
- Gary Russell Jr
- Emmanuel Navarrete
- Keyshawn Davis
- Devin Haney
- Vasyl Lomachenko
- Teofimo Lopez
- Isaac Cruz
- Mark Magsayo
- Josh Warrington
The number one thing Shakur needs to do is move up in weight to the 135-lb division because the 130-lb weight class is a ghost town. It’ll be like Las Vegas after Lake Mead runs dry, another ghost town.
Stevenson is wasting his career fighting at super featherweight, and he’s going to stunt his career if he chooses to invest any additional time in fighting in the barren, played-out division.
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