Although each weight class has its own level of prestige, the boxing landscape has several glamor divisions. Amongst them, 135 has protruded near the top. With fighters such as Devin Haney, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis, and Ryan Garcia making a name for themselves, mouthwatering showdowns between them have continued to dominate the headlines.
Yet, as Shakur Stevenson prepares himself both mentally and physically to embark on his own championship run at 135 pounds, the former Olympic silver medalist is ho-hum on the lightweight division as a whole. On the outside looking in, Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) acknowledges that his new weight class contains a ton of star power. However, their unwillingness to face each has become truly obtrusive to Stevenson.
“I think 135 is an overrated division,” said Stevenson to FightHype.com. “Honestly speaking, all these dudes been at the same weight for all this time and nobody really fought nobody. The only person that really fought people that I can give credit for is Teofimo (Lopez) when he fought Lomachenko when Lomachenko was on top and Devin when he fought (George) Kambosos.”
As Stevenson alludes to, Lopez, in 2020, brazenly challenged the Ukrainian native for his unified throne. Though many viewed Lopez’s move as foolish, the loquacious 25-year-old proved his doubters wrong, winning a close but clear unanimous decision.
Ultimately, Kambosos ended Lopez’s 15 minutes of fame, scoring an upset victory over his man just one year later. In turn, Haney, the division’s newly minted undisputed champion, made back-to-back treks to Melbourne, Australia, toppling Kambosos in consecutive bouts.
From Stevenson’s point of view, the lack of mega fights between the division’s biggest names is incredibly problematic. In 2023, nevertheless, Stevenson’s wishes could very well be placated.
According to both Garcia and Davis, the pair have agreed to all terms and are officially set to square off in the first half of the new year. In any event, until the division's hotshots move forward and continue to challenge themselves against one another, Stevenson is unwilling to place the 135-pound weight class amongst boxing’s best.
“We don’t know how good they are against somebody else like themselves. So I can't sit there and act like there’s some killers in the division. I feel like it’s an overrated division. I don’t look at it the same way everybody else looks at it.”