Shakur sounds the horn: Calling Navarrete to lightweight Dance

By Nationvegas - 01/03/2024 - Comments

WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson has got his hustle going, offering super featherweight champ Emanuel Navarrete a title shot at his 135-lb belt.

The 26-year-old Stevenson needs this fight badly because it’s the last one on his contract with Top Rank, and he needs a tremendous showing to increase his marketability for a new contract with them or another promotional company.

Pressure point

Stevenson’s last performance against Edwin De Los Santos was one of the worst of his career, running from his opponent and being booed all night by the fans last November at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

After the way Shakur fought, he’s not likely to get the enormous money offers from other promoters, so he needs Navarrete and a tremendous showing. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Stevenson has been calling out Vasily Lomachenko with no luck, forcing him to look elsewhere.

Can Shakur become a star?

Top Rank would like to turn Shakur into a star, but he just doesn’t have the right fan-friendly fighting style for him to become an attraction. Fans don’t enjoy spending time watching fighters run around the ring for twelve rounds, and that’s the style that Shakur has.

Although Stevenson and Top Rank maintain he was injured in the De Los Santos fight, he fought the exact same way against Robson Conceicao, Oscar Valdez, and Joet Gonzalez. Those are Shakur’s opponents since turning professional.

Luring Navarrete

Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) called out Navarrete (38-1-1, 31 KOs) on social media, letting know that he’d like for him to move up five lbs from the 130-lb division, where he holds the WBO belt, to face him at 135 next for his strap.

Shakur says it’ll be a “USA vs. Mexico” clash, and he feels it’ll create much interest. Navarrete, 28, might be open to it if the money is right with Top Rank, as he won’t fight against that type of opponent for chicken feed.

Stevenson is what’s known as a ‘runner,’ and those aren’t the type of fighters that fighters want to face, especially world champions with a lot of fans.

If Top Rank can offer Navarrete enough money to make it worthwhile for him to chase Shakur around the ring all night, he might take it. It would likely need to be a big offer because Navarrete won’t want to face someone running all night unless Top Rank makes it worthwhile.

Navarrete is coming off a war with Robson Conceicao last November, barely winning a twelve round majority decision. That fight and the Liam Wilson match showed that Navarrete isn’t cut out to compete at 130 and would be better off returning to the 126-lb weight class.