Maybe it’s the hurricane shutters.

While buffeting the Tuesday morning estate against the imminent arrival of the first big storm to approach Southwest Florida this season, I got to thinking about the future.

Of the world in general. Of the neighborhood in particular.

And in a lighter moment as I climbed down the ladder, the lightweight division.

The 135-pound ranks picked up a high-profile new resident when Shakur Stevenson – a claimant at 126 and 130 – abdicated by choosing not to shed an excess 1.6 pounds for a Friday title defense.

He followed through with the fight against Brazilian challenger Robson Conceicao and won by a predictably wide decision in front a partisan hometown crowd in Newark, and the chatter in the immediate aftermath focused on the big-event potential he brings with him to the new division.

No event is bigger, at least as it relates to title belts, as a date with Devin Haney.

The 23-year-old California native holds all four significant championship claims after defeating George Kambosos Jr. in June, and, presuming a win in their return bout next month, he'll be the guy anyone looking to add hardware at 135 is going to have to deal with.

That means a Stevenson bout is a likely occurrence and will force at least a temporary hold on the two men's friendship.

“Of course. That is a huge fight to be made one day," Haney told FightHype. 

"At the end of the day we all know that this is a business. 

“We’re real good friends, we talk often, and when the time comes is when the time comes. But it’s gonna make sense for me and for him and we’re gonna make a huge fight for the fans when it happens.”

Haney has weighed 135 or less for 19 of his 28 bouts, is an inch taller (5-foot-8 to 5-foot-7) and has a three-inch edge (71 inches to 68) in reach over Stevenson, but both have above-average hand speed and defensive skills and similar KO rates – Haney's is 53.57 percent to Stevenson's 50.

And Stevenson's game recognizes Haney's game.

"Devin’s very dominant, just like me," he told Fight Sports. "We both dominate. 

“I feel like that’s going to be a great fight."

But if there’s got to be an elimination step first, Vasyl Lomachenko is ready and willing.

Seems not long ago that the amateur star turned pro, challenged for a 126-pound title in his second bout and racked up championships in three weight classes within his first 12.

But it's been a tumultuous stretch for the Ukrainian star, now 34.

He lost his claim on 135-pound supremacy in a pandemic-prompted Las Vegas bubble in October 2020 and has fought just twice since (winning both) while also spending time in his home country to fight against invading forces from neighboring Russia.

He's still on the mind of division's big players, however.

A bout with Haney has been discussed if Haney gets by the rematch with Kambosos in October, and Stevenson had been considering the idea, too, even before the botched weigh-in against Conceicao.

"We can do that fight whenever. He’s a big enough name,” Stevenson told Thaboxingvoice in July. 

“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."

Stevenson and Lomachenko both stand 5-foot-7, and the younger man would have a 2.5-inch edge (68 to to 65.5) in reach. Neither is known for one-punch KO power, and both are masters of footwork and other elements of ring generalship.

"We’re about the same size anyway," Stevenson said. "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."

Meantime, if you’re looking for tantalizing, how about Gervonta Davis?

But while it seems like a no-brainer, it’s not without its conditions.

Davis has long been aligned with both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the Premier Boxing Champions apparatus when it comes to matchmaking and promoting his fights, which has essentially rendered him a non-factor, and vice versa, when it comes to fighters working with Top Rank.

Should that relationship change, or should the teams find a middle negotiating ground, as happened with Mayweather's fight with Manny Pacquiao, then the idea of a Stevenson-Davis duel becomes more realistic. And Stevenson has said he relishes the challenge.

"I feel like me and Tank are two special fighters, and we’re going to end up being the best of the best, and we’re going to have to fight," he told Fight Hub TV. "Yeah, I’m more skillful than Tank. He might not like me saying it, but I feel like it’s the truth. I feel like I’m a more skillful fighter than he is. I don’t go down in rounds. I come back.

“I’m with it; I’m down. I think that’s the biggest fight in the sport of boxing."

Second, and more importantly, Davis is now set to stand trial in December for multiple misdemeanor counts stemming from a hit-and-run crash in Baltimore in November 2020.

A judge this week rejected a plea deal that would have given him a one-year suspended sentence with two months of home confinement and work release, for charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and damage to property, driving on a revoked license, and running a red light.

* * * * * * * * * *

This week’s title-fight schedule:

No title fights scheduled.

Last week's picks: 1-0 (WIN: Stevenson)

2022 picks record: 29-12 (70.7 percent)

Overall picks record: 1,238-404 (75.4 percent)

NOTE: Fights previewed are only those involving a sanctioning body's full-fledged title-holder – no interim, diamond, silver, etc. Fights for WBA "world championships" are only included if no "super champion" exists in the weight class.

Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. He is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter – @fitzbitz.