Shakur Stevenson Announces His Next Title Defense

March 13, 2024
3 months
Shakur Stevenson Announces His Next Title Defense

Shakur Stevenson, the WBC Lightweight Champion, will defend his title on July 6 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Stevenson’s opponent has not been confirmed, but the news does mark a huge turnaround. The boxer announced his retirement shortly after the WBO mandated Emanuel Navarrete vs Denys Berinchyk for the vacant WBO title. This prevented Shakur from unifying as the boxer struggled to make the big fights.

A large part of Shakur’s problem in getting big bouts had been his last performance against Edwin De Los Santos. Shakur won a unanimous decision to win the WBC belt, but his extremely defensive style did not go down well with the fans. He was booed during and after the fight, even if he entered the bout with a hand injury.

That no longer made Stevenson an attraction option for other fighters, as selling a fight with him was difficult. Potential bouts with Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis appeared further away. Shakur then announced his retirement, only to then reverse it.

“I’m officially retiring from the sport of boxing I’ll be in the gym forever perfecting my craft and helping the next generation become great and chase they dreams but I ain’t fw this weak boxing game,” Stevenson said

“I’m waiting for the opportunity for me to come out of retirement. I got a WBC belt. So all roads to undisputed, being at 135, it come through me. We can already see them unifying, Lomachenko and a Navarrete fight. They can’t become the undisputed champion without coming to get the WBC strap off of me. They can do whatever they want, but I’m still going to be right here waiting on everybody. My opportunity got to come,” Stevenson stated

Shakur’s Next Fight

Now, the news is official. 

“I’m coming to make a statement and whip ass. They’re never playing me again. I’m not a person to be played with.I’ll be my sensational self and whip ass. I’m the best fighter in boxing. I know that. I just gotta kick my way through the door [toward major events], and that’s going to happen starting July 6. I’m so excited about it. The stuff I’ve been working on originally is special … Bud knows. He told me in the last fight, ‘Go out there and box and win,’ and I did. Now, I’ll be taking the same advice and turning it way up,” Stevenson revealed

This naturally begs the question: Who will Stevenson face? Well, he was linked with a bout against Raymond Muratalla. He is undefeated with a 19-0 record, which includes 16 knockouts. Muratalla has had five knockouts in his last six fights, showing that he is a knockout artist.

He is currently ranked number two in the WBC rankings. He would pose Shakur a problem, given how he performed against De Los Santos, who was also a hard-hitting puncher. Despite this being the case, Shakur denied he was facing Muratalla.

Who Will He Face?

Regardless of who Shakur faces next, he must put on a dominant performance. That would allow a potential unification fight against the winner of Navarrete-Berinchyk or George Kambosos Jr. vs Vasiliy Lomachenko for the IBF Lightweight Title. Stevenson has clarified that he wants to become undisputed, which would include facing Tanks Davis for his WBA Lightweight Title. But before thinking about that, he must come through his fight in July.

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