Pick It: Shakur Stevenson vs. Edwin De Los Santos (Thursday, ESPN, 10:30 PM EST)   

Are we seeing the seeds planted for a showdown? The way the card is stacked this Thursday, we might be. 26-year old Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson (20-0, 10 KO) hasn’t gotten himself into fights with the likes of Tank Davis or Devin Haney and should be expected to win his third divisional title, this one a WBC strap at lightweight, against 24-year old Edwin De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KO).

The undercard comes into play. 28-year old WBC junior lightweight titlist Emanuel Navarrete (38-1, 31 KO) defends against 35-year old Robson Conceicao (17-2, 8 KO). Conceicao may give some issues but coming off an impressive win over Oscar Valdez, Navarette is the favorite. Navarette has belts in three weight classes and could always shoot for four. Stevenson needs a notable opponent and could soon have a belt one class up. This feels like old fashioned showdown building.  

Additional Shows to Watch For

Saturday - Heaney vs. Bentley (ESPN+, 2:00 PM EST)

It’s middleweight action from the UK for this afternoon card. 28-year old Denzel Bentley (18-2-1, 15 KO) is two fights removed from a lopsided loss to now-unified middleweight titlist Zhanibek Alimkhanuly. 34-year old Nathan Heaney (17-0, 6 KO) doesn’t offer much threat of an early exit but maybe they can make a good show over a long haul.

Saturday - Petitjean vs. Azim (Peacock, 3:00 PM EST)

The latest entrant into the streaming side of boxing continues their new series with middleweight action. 21-year old Adam Azim (9-0, 6 KO) shows early promise as he works his way into the mix. 35-year old Franck Petitjean (24-6-3, 6 KO) has shown both durability and a lack of pop, just the sort of foe young prospects are built upon.

Saturday - Pacheco vs. Coceres (DAZN, 8:00 PM EST)

22-year old super middleweight Diego Pacheco (19-0, 16 KO) is being moved by Matchroomlike a star of the future. He’s certainly intriguing at 6’4 and with significant power. He’s getting his progressions in, facing a veteran here with only one stoppage defeat. 32-year old Marcelo Coceres (32-5-1, 18 KO) is 2-3 in his last five starts but he lasted the route in those losses. Pacheco has never been past round eight. Can Coceres get him to the sound of the bell for a ninth? 

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com