What’s Next For Shakur Stevenson After Beating Artem Harutyunyan?

July 7, 2024
1 week
What's Next For Shakur Stevenson After Beating Artem Harutyunyan ?

Shakur Stevenson beat Artem Harutyunyan in a successful defense of his WBC Lightweight Title, raising questions about his next steps. 

Stevenson had his last fight under his Top Rank deal. While the promotional outfit enabled him to become a three-weight world champion, Shakur struggled to make the big fights. He had two big fights available under Top Rank: Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez. Lomachenko is likely to face Gervonta Davis next. Meanwhile, Lopez fights at 140 with the possibility of moving up to 147. Shakur may now seek another promoter. The performance against Artem was not the best. There were jeers from the crowd, with some leaving early. Prior to the fight, boxing insiders wanted a statement win.

Shakur’s Expectations

“I think a lot of people still in the group that would say that he could beat all of these guys, and he can. He definitely has that ability. The pound-for-pound guys are always the guys with the best defense. Defense is what separates champions.The elite guys don’t get hit. Shakur is one of the best defensive fighters in the game today, and he creates a lot of openings. The issue is he’s not the most exciting fighter at all, which is me being nice. A lot of guys think he’s very boring,” Algieri said

“He’s not only hard to beat but to look good against. That’s why a lot of guys don’t want to fight him. There’s no getting around it. He’s boring. It depends on what your taste is. If you want to see home runs, you stay at home. You’re not watching Stevenson,” Atlas said 

Eddie Hearn has been vocal about Shakur’s talent. He referred to him as one of the best P4P fighters. A deal with DAZN offers Shakur the possibility of facing Devin Haney. Haney is a free agent but works closely with DAZN on a fight-by-fight basis. There is also the chance to box Ryan Garcia, provided ‘King Ry’ comes back healthy following his one-year ban. Garcia is suspended after two failed VADA tests for Ostarine overturned his win over Haney into a no-contest. A deal with Matchroom also allows a possible fight against IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Liam Paro

Shakur’s Future

Another alternative is to sign with PBC. Such a deal allows the possibility of facing Gervonta Davis at 135 in a massive unification. In addition, Isaac Cruz is also with PBC. The Mexican is the WBA Junior Welterweight Champion after beating Rolando Romero for the belt. That would allow a big fight on Cinco De Mayo or Mexican Independence Day. 

Another option is to sign with Golden Boy Promotions. Shakur had been linked with a fight against William Zepeda. The Mexican is undefeated with a 30-0 record, with 26 KOs. Zepeda has stopped his last three fights, making him a devastating knockout artist. Stevenson’s performance against Edwin De Los Santos showed he struggles against a power puncher. Despite winning, he was on the back foot for most of the fight. A fight with Zepeda would allow Stevenson to answer those critics.  

If those options do not work, Stevenson could stay with Top Rank. However, that means he will likely get lower purses, with Top Rank knowing he does not have a big commercial value. Stevenson will struggle to remain a free agent on a fight-by-fight basis since, unlike Canelo Alvarez, he is not a big-ticket seller. Either way, Shakur has plenty to ponder. 

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