Shakur Stevenson will be fighting on September 23rd, potentially against three-time Olympian Robson Conceicao, in Newark, New Jersey.
Mike Coppinger of ESPN is reporting the news of the unbeaten Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) returning to the ring three months from now.
Negotiations are still underway for Stevenson to defend against #2 WBC & #2 WBO 130-lb contender Conceicao (17-1, 8 KOs) next.
The 2016 Olympic gold medalist Conceicao suffered his only career loss last September in a 12-round unanimous decision against former WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in a close fight.
Valdez edged it by the scores 117-110, 115-112, and 115-112. The fight was razor-close, with some boxing fans feeling like Conceicao should have been given the victory.
The 117-110 score for Valdez was shamefully bad, as that was pouring gasoline on the fire in terms of how terrible the scoring was for the contest.
Conceicao fought well enough to deserve a narrow victory, but for one judge to give it to Valdez by a wide 117-110 score was disappointing.
Since that fight, Conceicao bounced back with a lopsided 10-round unanimous victory over Xavier Martinez last January.
For his part, Shakur, 24, is coming off a one-sided12-round unanimous decision win over Oscar Valdez in a unification clash on April 30th in Las Vegas.
For Shakur to become a massive star, he will need to bite the bullet and move up to lightweight to take on talented fighters like Devin Haney, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Vasyl Lomachenko, and Ryan Garcia.
What’s obvious is that Stevenson will not become a superstar if he stubbornly stays at super featherweight, fighting guys like Conceicao, Joe Cordina, and Roger Gutierrez.
Shakur wants to stay at 130 long enough for him to become the undisputed champion, which means he will be tied down to the division for another year.
As a result, we probably won’t see Stevenson move up to lightweight until 2024 because he will not get unification clashes against both 130-lb champions Cordina & Gutierrez this year.
Shakur is a fighter that relies on his reflexes and hand speed. Those types of fighters tend to go downhill once their speed disappears on them in their late 20s to early 30s.
If Stevenson is intelligent, he’ll move quickly with his career and not focus on trivial accomplishments like attempting to become the undisputed champion at super featherweight by beating the little-known champions Gutierrez and Cordina.
U.S casual boxing fans have never heard of those two champions, and even hardcore fans aren’t too familiar wither either.
Stevenson should look at the bigger picture and focus on going after the more notable names by moving up to 135 to pursue fights against Tank Davis, Haney, Ryan Garcia, and Lomachenko.
By Adam Baskin