By Adam Baskin: Top Rank boss Bob Arum says Shakur Stevenson will either fight Vasily Lomachenko for the soon-to-be vacant WBC lightweight title or someone else for the belt.
Interestingly, Arum doesn’t know whether #1 Lomachenko 17-3, 11 KOs) will fight #2 Stevenson for the WBC 135-lb belt despite promoting both of them. The fact that Arum still doesn’t know if Lomachenko will take the fight with Shakur suggests that it’s not going to happen.
Arum mentions that the Russians are bombing 10 kilometers from where Lomachenko lives in Ukraine, meaning that Loma has a lot of distractions right now.
If Lomachenko doesn’t fight Shakur next, the World Boxing Council will need to work its way down the top 15 ranking until they find someone that is willing & able to fight Stevenson.
The concern is that if Shakur winds up beating a fringe contender, ranked from 10 to 15, he’ll be viewed as a paper champion because of his low-quality opponent.
That would lessen the value of Shakur capturing the WBC lightweight title, preventing him from winning over new boxing fans and hurting his chances of getting a fight against Gervonta Davis.
“Let’s see. We’re going to get the best possible opponent. If it’s not Lomachenko, it’ll be somebody else,” said Bob Arum to Fighthype about who Shakur Stevenson will fight next.
WBC’s top 15 at lightweight:
1. Vasiliy Lomachenko
2. Shakur Stevenson
3. Isaac Cruz
4. Frank Martin
5. William Zepeda
6. Edwin De Los Santos
7. Jamaine Ortiz
8. Shuichiro Yoshino
9. Raymond Muratalla
10. George Kambosos
11. Maxi Hughes
12. Keyshawn Davis
13. Zaur Abdullaev
14. Artem Harutyunyan
15. Michel Rivera
The chances are high that Stevenson will wind up facing a big puncher like Martin, Zepeda, De Los Santos, or Muratalla next. Lomachenko doesn’t seem like he’s going to take the fight, and you can on Pitbull Cruz turning down the chance because he’s still hoping to be blessed again by Gervonta Davis.
“He’ll be fighting for the lightweight title, and I look at Shakur as a fighter in my mind based on ability is right there at the top of the best pound-for-pound fighter,” Arum continued.
“I don’t do the fighting. Loma is in a situation that is different from fighters here in the United States. The Russians are bombing a city that is ten kilometers from where he lives. So obviously, that’s going to affect him and affect his family.
“Loma, for me, is one of my heroes and one of the guys that I really love, and he’s going to do what he has to do as a true professional,” said Arum.