By Brian Webber: Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) will keep busy, fighting unbeaten #5 WBC lightweight contender Shuichiro Yoshino (16-0, 12 KOs) on April 8th on ESPN at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Stevenson vs. Yoshino headlines in a Top Rank-promoted card that begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum believes Shakur is a superstar in the making and already the best fighter in the lightweight division. He just needs the opportunity to prove it against the champions Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Devin Haney.
However, it’s looking like Haney will soon vacate his four belts and move up to 140 after he defends against Vasyl Lomachenko on May 20th. Shakur will then move in and go after one of the vacant straps.
Shakur hoped to fight Isaac Cruz, William Zepeda, and George Kambosos Jr, but none of those fighters were free to face him. As such, the 31-year-old Yoshino has been selected for Shakur to fight.
In the undercard, lightweight fringe contender/prospect Keyshawn Davis will face Emmanuel Tagoe. Top Rank hasn’t confirmed that Tagoe would be the opponent for Keyshawn, but ESPN is saying that he’s next up for him.
Hopefully, there’s a better opponent selected for Keyshawn because there’s been much criticism over this potential fight. Boxing fans want to see Keyshawn face better opposition than this, particularly with the bold talking that he’s done recently on Youtube.
Keyshawn is pretty excited about the fight, even though the 34-year-old Tagoe (32-2, 15 KOs) will be coming off a one-year layoff and a one-sided 12 round decision loss to Ryan Garcia last April.
Also on the card, heavyweight fringe contender Jared Anderson will be fighting a still-to-be-determined opponent. The unbeaten 23-year-old Anderson (13-0, 13 KOs) defeated journeyman Jerry Forrest by a second round knockout last December at Madison Square Garden in New York.
It’s important that Jared not be thrown in too deep at this early stage of his career because he’s too easy to hit, and he could get stopped if he’s put in with a heavyweight with some pop in their punches.
“Shakur Stevenson is one of the most gifted fighters I’ve had the pleasure of promoting, and I look forward to seeing him once again fight in front of his incredible hometown fans in Newark,” said Bob Arum.
“Yoshino is a tough fighter and won’t be deterred by the hostile crowd. Jared Anderson and Keyshawn Davis are two of the sport’s emerging superstars, and I can’t wait to see them back in the ring.”