Shakur Stevenson’s star keeps shining brighter with every fight, and the unified junior lightweight champion wants to reach new stratospheres with another challenge.
The WBC and WBO 130-pound titlist Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) is signed with Top Rank, and he has a slew of options to consider in and around his weight class.
The New Jersey native Stevenson is preparing for a Newark homecoming against Robson Conceicao (17-1, 8 KOs) on Sept. 23 at the Prudential Center. If all goes well, he plans on next welcoming Vasiliy Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs), one of the sport’s top pound for pound fighters.
“We can do that fight whenever. He’s a big enough name,” Stevenson told ThaBoxingVoice. “He’s got a big name, and he’s been in the pound-for-pound rankings. You’ve got to respect him for that. We can make that fight happen at the beginning of next year.
“At the moment, we’re not at the same weight. I’m pretty sure I’m a champion right now. He can come down to 130 right now, and it would be a huge fight. I feel like 135 is not his natural weight. 130 seems like a more realistic weight class for him. We’re about the same size anyway.”
Lomachenko has fought at the 135-pound weight limit in his last seven fights dating back to 2018. The two-time Ukrainian Olympics gold medalist has also insisted that fighting at lightweight is not his preferred weight.
Top Rank’s intent is for Lomachenko to return to the ring in October following a months-long stay in Ukraine defending his homeland from the Russian invasion. Lomachenko last fought in December and scored a dominant unanimous decision win against Richard Commey.
Lomachenko fought at 130 pounds from 2016 and 2017, forcing stoppages in corner in between rounds against the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nicholas Walters, Miguel Marriaga, and Jason Sosa.
Another discussed option for Stevenson may be fellow stablemate Emanuel Navarrete once the WBO featherweight champion elects to move up a weight class.
Stevenson said he’s ready to take on all comers.
“I’m so confident in myself. They say, ‘He’s cocky.’ I don’t care because I feel like I can beat anybody. I don’t care who it is. They can ask me anybody on the planet earth – I’m going to tell you I can beat them because I can figure out a way to win.”
Stevenson collected his crowns by beating former champion Oscar Valdez in April and former titlist Jamel Herring in October.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.