By Adam Baskin: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says Shakur Stevenson will fight in November for the WBC lightweight title against the best available fighter.
#4 WBC Frank Martin (17-0, 12 KOs) is the opponent that is rumored to be facing Shakur (20-0, 10 KOs) next for the WBC 135-lb belt.
Martin would be an excellent option, as he’s coming off a thrilling twelve round unanimous decision win over Artem Harutyunyan last July.
If Martin doesn’t take the fight, another opponent from the WBC’s top 15 will be picked. Unfortunately, there are several of the high-profile contenders that will likely reject taking the with Shakur.
Options for Shakur:
– Frank Martin
– William Zepeda
– Edwin De Los Santos
– Jamaine Ortiz
– Shuichiro Yoshino
– Raymond Muratalla
– George Kambosos
It’s possible that Arum may need to drop down to Jamaine Ortiz or Raymond Muratalla before he finds someone that will agree to fight Stevenson. Isaac Cruz could be facing Gervonta Davis next, so he’s not an option for Shakur.
Also, former unified lightweight champion Georg Kambosos Jr and contender William Zepeda are fighters that aren’t expected to agree to fight Shakur.
Arum says Vasily Lomaachenko will be taking the remainder of the year off. Loma is the guy that Stevenson had hoped to fight, but his country, Ukrainian, is still at war with Russia. It’s not a good time for Lomachenko.
“Lomachenko is balking about fighting this year. He wants to take time off. He can’t get focused on fighting. I don’t think it has anything to do with Shakur,” said Top Tank promoter Bob Arum to Steve Kim, ruling out a return this year for Vasily Lomachenko.
“Definitely,” said Aum when asked if Shakur Stevenson will fight in November. “We’re going to get the best possible opponent, and he’s going to fight for the WBC [lightweight] title.
“I have no idea. Mayweather’s plan is always to stretch everything out until the opponent has nothing left,” said Arum when asked about potentially matching Shakur against Gervonta Davis.
“So, I can’t talk for Mayweather, and I can’t talk for Tank Davis. I think that’s a really interesting fight, but I think Tank knows like I know there’s only one winner in that fight, and that’s Shakur,” said Arum.
It’s unclear what the end game would be for Shakur if he captures the WBC lightweight title. He’s expected to be avoided by the top guys, Gervonta Davis, and it might be a good idea for Shakur to move up to 140, where he can put himself in a position to fight Devin Haney, Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia, Regis Prograis, Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero and Subriel Matias.
They clearly tryna freeze me out if y’all don’t see it y’all dumb.. But I can’t be mad because Everybody been tried to put me on game years ago! I’m gone take mine on the chin and stay focused 💯
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) August 21, 2023