Shakur Stevenson to Become Free Agent After July 6th Title Defense

By @James_theGrad - 05/11/2024 - Comments

Promoter Bob Arum confirms that WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson will be a promotional free agent after his title defense against Artem Harutyunyan on July 6th in Newark, New Jersey.

Arum “Optimistic” About Re-Signing Stevenson

Arum says “optimistic” that Shakur (21-0, 10 KOs) will want to stay with Top Rank, just as Vasily Lomachenko did when his contract experienced and he became a free agent.

If Shakur re-signs with Arum, one possible fight for him could be against the winner of tonight’s match between Lomachenko and George Kambosos Jr. Those two are fighting for the vacant IBF lightweight title in Perth, Australia.

Whoever emerges victorious in the Kambosos-Lomachenko fight will need to decide whether it’s best to fight the defensive wizard Shakur and potentially have to pursue him around the ring all night.

Stevenson’s Reputation as a “Boring” Fighter

Shakur has developed a bad reputation for being a boring fighter who doesn’t come to fight and is not worth fighting. Hopefully, Arum knows what’s in store for him if he extends Shakur’s contract with Top Rank.

In the past, Arum was less than pleased with Cuban talent Guillermo Rigondeaux when he was with Top Rank. Rigondeaux had a far more entertaining style than Shakur, yet Arum didn’t seem excited about his fights. Shakur has none of the power that Rigondeaux possessed, and he stands and fights the way Rigo did when he was with Top Rank.

Arum’s Comments on Stevenson’s Future

“I haven’t discussed it with either fighter, but Shakur Stevenson is penciled in for July 6th against the German lightweight [Artem Harutyunyan]. After that, we’ll see,” said promoter Bob Arum to Fight Hub TV when asked if the winner of tonight’s fight between George Kambosos Jr. and Vasily Lomachenko will fight WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson next.

“That’s true. He is,” said Arum when asked if Shakur will be a promotional free agent after his contract with Top Rank runs out with his July 6th title defense against Karutyunyan. “His contract, which went six or seven years with us, has run out.

“It’s been a great relationship, but when a contract runs out, a fighter has the opportunity to look around to see what the best deal is for him. We’re optimistic that Shakur will decide that Top Rank is the best home for him, but he’s clearly a free agent after his next fight.

“Loma was a free agent as well, but he decided that his best opportunities would be under the Top Rank banner. So, he signed an extension a couple of years ago. This goes on in boxing all the time. It goes on in other sports. That’s what a free agent means.

Top Rank and Shakur have a good relationship. He’s a top fighter, a nice kid, but his contract will be over with his fight in July and then he’ll look around and hopefully realize that Top Rank is his home. If he finds something is better, so be it. That’s what free agency means,” said Arum.