Shakur Stevenson has his mind made up that he wants Vasily Lomachenko next after his fight this Thursday night against Edwin De Los Santos at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
(Courtesy: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)
When pressed on whether Top Rank has confirmed that Lomachenko will be his next opponent, Shakur (20-0, 10 KOs) admitted that they hadn’t told him. His hope is that the former three-division world champion Lomachenko will be delivered to him.
Unfortunately for Shakur, Loma is thought to be fighting George Kambosos Jr. next, and that’s a fight that Top Rank would want to make.
If Shakur gets past De Los Santos, a more realistic option for him would be Raymond Muratalla or Frank Martin. Either of those two would be an excellent choice and would get a lot of boxing fans excited.
Top Rank would likely prefer to match Shakur with Muratalla if Devin Haney doesn’t return to the lightweight division. Muratalla isn’t as well known as Lomachenko, but if he’s not an option for Shakur, what can he do?
Going from De Los Santos to Muratalla would make a lot of sense because they’re both huge punchers, who would keep Shakur on his toes.
While Shakur is still signed with Top Rank, he should take advantage of the situation by having them match him against Teofimo Lopez at 140. That would be a double fight.
Shakur denies he’s a runner
“It means he’s sleeping on my offense. I heard him saying I ain’t got no power. It’s the same story every fight. I keep hearing the same thing,” said Shakur Stevenson to the media about Edwin De Los Santos saying he can’t punch, which would appear to be true, going by his 50% KO rate.
It’s impossible to watch Shakur’s fights with Jeremiah Nakathilia, Oscar Valdez, and Jamel Herring and not conclude that he’s indeed a “runner,” which is fine.
You can’t expect a fighter with no punching power like Shakur to stand in the pocket and go toe-to-toe with his stronger opposition, especially if he’s getting knocked out in training camp.
“That’s a lie. We ain’t even got to sit there,” said Shakur, reacting to being told that De Los Santos called him a ‘Runner.’ This comes down to skills. Edwin is a real skillful fighter, but my skills are better.
“It’s time to wake him up. I think Edwin is a good fighter. I think he’s more of a boxer than what he acts like. I think he’ll come here and try and move around. I’m going to figure him out by round four.”
Shakur isn’t a big puncher and moves quite a bit. In his last fight against Shuichiro Yoshino, he stayed in the pocket and knocked him out in the sixth round, but that wasn’t one of the better lightweights. If Shakur tries to fight De Los Santos the same way, he could live to regret it.
“I really don’t care. I can barely understand what he’s saying,” said Shakur when told that De Los Santos said that he’s a ‘Chicken’ and that he’s going to make ‘Chicken soup’ out of him. “If I’m chicken and I’m going to be made soup, I’ll see you Thursday.”
Shakur would be making a mistake if he stood and trades with De Los Santos because this guy has the kind of power where he can take him out with either hand.
The scenario most believe will play out is Shakur throwing single shots and then backing up quickly when De Los Santos tries to land. It could make for a boring fight, but that’s Shakur’s best avenue to victory against this type of fighter.
If De Los Santos had no pop in his punches like Shakur’s last opponent Yoshino, he would stand in the pocket and slug with him, but he can’t do that in this case.
Stevenson expects De Los Santos to box
“His game plan is to come in here and outbox me. That’s what he’s planning on. He thinks I don’t know that, but I know that,” said Shakur.
De Los Santos may box Shakur like he did his last opponent, Joseph Adorno; he’s still going to unload a lot of heavy artillery. Even while boxing Adorno, De Los Santos was hitting him a lot with murderous punches in every round.
Many of the punches that Edwin landed in that fight would have knocked out most lightweights and likely would do a number on Shakur as well. If the reports of Shakur being knocked out by Liam Paro in sparring are true, De Los Santos will be a real threat because he has similar power.
If you’ve just been viciously knocked out by Paro, you don’t want to get hit flush by De Los Santos if you’re Shakur. As long as the knockout wasn’t a really bad one for Shakur, he should be okay for this fight, but he’s going to have to be careful the whole time.
“He’s trying to get into my head when he says that,” said Shakur, reacting to being told that De Los Santos said that Gervonta Davis & Devin Haney are better fighters than him. “He can say whatever he wants. Thursday, he’s got to see me. That’s it.”
De Los Santos looked as serious as a heart attack when he said that he felt that Haney & Tank Davis are better fighters than Shakur. It goes without saying that Tank is a better fighter, as he’s got welterweight power, and can box well when he wants to.
Devin Haney is more versatile than Shakur, and he doesn’t run from his opponents to win his fights. He boxes, punches and is an expert and neutralizing the offense of his opposition.
“On Thursday night, me and Edwin in the ring, and I’m going to f** him up,” said Shakur. “I think that’s a distracting fight because I’m supposed to be fighting Lomachenko,” said Shakur about Emanuel Navarrete saying he wants to fight him next.
“Edwin first, but next should be Lomachenko. That’s the big fight, that’s the fight that should be next. One of the best two fighters in the division going head-to-head,” said Shakur about wanting Vasily Lomachenko next.