Shakur Stevenson – Shuichiro Yoshino meet in WBC lightweight eliminator on April 8th
By Brian Webber: Shakur Stevenson – Shuichiro Yoshino will be squaring off in a WBC lightweight title eliminator two months from now on April 8th in the main event to force their way to a title shot against undisputed champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney.
Stevenson-Yoshino will headline in a loaded Top Rank-promoted card at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) noted what Bill Haney said last week about Devin planning on staying at 135 for all of 2023, defending his four lightweight belts against all comers, and he’s taking him at his word.
It will be a big disappointment if Haney chooses to vacate his four titles to swerve the Stevenson vs. Yoshino winner after he faces 34-year-old Vasyl Lomachenko on May 20th.
Shakur & Yoshino would prefer to battle Haney for all four belts than to have the titles dispersed, with him electing to move up to 140 after he faces Lomachenko in May.
It’s difficult to know what Haney’s next move will be if he gets past Lomachenko because he’s been quiet about his intentions. If Haney commits to fighting the Stevenson vs. Yoshino winner, he’ll open himself to be widely criticized if he fails to do that.
Unfortunately, without either of these two talented contenders going the mandatory route with the World Boxing Council, they wouldn’t be getting a title shot against Haney.
While Haney & his dad Bill talk about being willing to face the best at 135, we haven’t seen that happen yet. Haney’s best victories have come against this beatable bunch: Jorge Linares, George Kambosos Jr, and Joseph Diaz Jr.
Not much is known about the powerful 31-year-old Shuichiro Yoshino by casual boxing fans because he’s been toiling away under the radar of fighting in his home country of Japan his entire eight-year professional career.
This will be Yoshino’s coming out party on April 8th when he takes on the risking star Shakur Stevenson at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+.
“I am very honored to be fighting in the U.S. for the first time. I’m extremely focused and motivated,” Yoshino said. “I’m looking forward to fighting the great two-division champion, Shakur Stevenson, in his hometown of Newark. I’ll be training hard leading up to the fight and look forward to showing the fans an exciting victory!”
- Shakur Stevenson and Vasyl Lomachenko meet at Top Rank gym, Haney fight looming for Loma
- Bob Arum talks Shakur Stevenson facing Haney vs. Lomachenko winner
- Shakur Stevenson says Devin Haney has no choice but fight him or vacate in 2023
- Shakur Stevenson battles Shuichiro Yoshino on April 8th on ESPN from Newark, New Jersey