Arum Expects Stevenson To Fight Despite ‘Retirement’

February 1, 2024
4 weeks
Arum Expects Stevenson To Fight Despite 'Retirement'

Bob Arum expects Shakur Stevenson to continue his boxing career despite announcing that he is retiring.

Stevenson dropped the bombshell just after the WBO had ordered Emanuel Navarrete vs Denys Berinchyk for the vacant lightweight title. That move prevented Stevenson from unifying the division since he holds the WBC belt. He won that belt after beating Edwin De Los Santos to become a three-weight world champion.

But his ultra-defensive performance, which was in part due to a hand injury coming into the fight, was heavily criticised. That damaged Stevenson’s commercial power, with the perception that a fight with Shakur would not sell.

So bouts with Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis were off the table, leaving Shakur frustrated, as he called it quits. Although that may be the case, Arum is not taking those comments seriously, as he expects Shakur to return.

Arum On Stevenson

“Well, you know, Shakur had an underwhelming appearance in his last fight. That happens, but we know he had a number of injuries training for the fight. People took him to the doctor every other day for ailments that he was undergoing. We think in his next fight, he’ll be terrific, and we’ll see. I think Shakur is a big, big talent, and I don’t think his last fight [against Edwin De Los Santos last November] is indicative of how good he really is and how exciting he is,” Arum stated 

He may return, given that Teofimo Lopez had done something similar only to reverse his retirement. After beating Josh Taylor for the WBO Junior Welterweight Title, he announced his retirement, claiming he would only return if given a nine-figure purse. Lopez went back on that and said it was a publicity stunt. If Shakur keeps his word, the belt will become vacant.

Stevenson’s Belt

Arum Expects Stevenson To Fight Despite 'Retirement'
Instagram shakurstevenson

Stevenson’s sudden ‘retirement’ could give William Zepeda and Maxi Hughes the chance to fight for the WBC Lightweight Belt. 

Prior to Stevenson’s announcement, Zepeda was linked with facing Shakur. Zepeda is currently ranked number three in the rankings, while the second-ranked Isaac Cruz faces Rolando Romero for the WBA Junior Welterweight Title. That presents Hughes with the chance of a belt after he lost his WBO title to George Kambosos Jr. in his last bout. The Brit lost a majority decision in a fight where some in the boxing community felt he had done enough to win. 

If the bout does go ahead, the winner has the chance to fight in some big fights. A unification is possible with Gervonta Davis or the winner of George Kambosos Jr. vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko. There are also possible bouts against Edwin De Los Santos or Frank Martin, who is currently undefeated. But that all depends on whether Stevenson’s comments were serious. After all, at the age of 26, he is entering into his prime years. And there is no getting away from that.

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