Arum Blames De La Hoya For Stevenson vs Zepeda Not Happening – ‘Sounds Like A Duck’

March 31, 2024
3 months
Arum Blames De La Hoya For Stevenson vs Zepeda Not Happening - 'Sounds Like A Duck'

Bob Arum has revealed that Oscar De La Hoya turned down the chance to make a fight between Shakur Stevenson and William Zepeda

Shakur is preparing to make his return on July 6 to defend his WBC Lightweight Title. The decision saw Stevenson reverse his retirement following the Edwin De Los Santos win. Shakur was criticised for his defensive performance, which caused him to get booed during the fight. Now that he has come out of retirement, there were question marks over who he would face. Zepeda became a leading name after calling out Shakur following his win over Maxi Hughes

“That was what we worked on throughout this camp. It’s no secret, just an old-school approach. We target the body and work our way up to the head. We were very pleased with the results tonight. In a perfect world, I want Shakur next.

“I’m ready to answer that call. We’re going to sit down as a team and discuss what’s next for me. But I really feel out of all the champions out there, my style and Shakur’s match up the best. He needs an opponent and July is perfect timing for me to return,” Zepeda said 

Stevenson’s Opponent

Shakur expressed his desire to make the fight happen, only for De La Hoya to rule out a date for now. Shakur also offered himself as a replacement for the Devin Haney vs Ryan Garcia fight. There were worries that Garcia may not go through with the fight, with claims his mental health was not in a good place.

Garcia admitted smoking weed and drinking alcohol during the build up. Ryan’s social media activity, which has been centred on social justice issues such as trafficking, has also dominated the build up. But since Garcia and Haney will fight, it left Shakur with no choice but to look elsewhere. 

Reports then indicated that Shakur was close to finalizing an agreement to face Artem Harutyunyan. Harutyunyan lost to Frank Martin in his last fight, taking a knee in the final round, which was enough to get Martin the decision. This fight has gotten criticism, but Arum has now said Golden Boy rejected the fight with Zepeda.

Arum Reacts

“When [William] Zepeda won his fight [against Maxi Hughes], it was Oscar De La Hoya who said, ‘Bring on Shakur.’ We called them and said, ‘Everybody heard Oscar. Shakur’s ready to fight your guy.’ It was, ‘Ah, he’s not ready yet,’…Let me tell you something – if you take a lightweight and have them fight Shakur, it’s like sentencing them to death.

“Because nobody can beat Shakur. Don’t say stupid things that you’re not going to back up. Now, if he wanted that kid [William Zepeda] to fight Shakur, it’s okay to say that, and then we would have probably made the match. But don’t say it if you have no intention of putting this kid in with Shakur,” Arum stated 

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