Arum Opens the Door for Shakur vs. Zepeda on July 6th in Newark

By Chris Williams - 03/17/2024 - Comments

Promoter Bob Arum revealed that he’s open to making Shakur Stevenson vs. William Zepeda next on WBC lightweight champion Shakur’s next fight date on July 6th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Arum wants Zepeda’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, to call him to discuss the fight with Shakur.

Arum told Boxing Scene that he’s open to making the Shakur vs. Zepeda fight, provided it’s on July 6th. That’s not exactly the ideal time for Zepeda because he just got out of a hard training camp for his fight with Maxi Hughes last Saturday night, and he’d have to get right back without rest to prepare for Stevenson.

Of course, this could be posturing by Arum to the appearance that he’s trying to set up the Shakur-Zepeda fight to make Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) happy, as he posted on social media last night that he would like to face Zepeda (30-0, 26 KOs) next after witnessing his fourth-round knockout win over Hughes in their headliner clash on DAZN at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Arum’s Angle: Win-Win or Lose-Nothing?

From Arum’s perspective, the fight makes sense, given that this is the 26-year-old Shakur’s final fight of his contract with Top Rank, and it’s believed that he’s going to test the waters with another promotional company. As such, it’s pointless for Arum to waste one of his Top Rank fighters against Shakur if he’s planning on leaving anyway.

That’s where Zepeda comes in. It’s a win-win for Arum if Shakur fights him because it’s a match that will attract a ton of attention, and if Stevenson loses, it’s no skin off Arum’s teeth. He leaves the company, and his value is diminished for whoever signs him, but it won’t affect Arum and Top Rank. He’ll be someone else’s headache.

“Let Oscar De La Hoya call me, and I’ll get that fight done for July. We have a date, July 6th, the Prudential Center is reserved. We certainly would consider him,” said Arum to Boxing Scene.