Edwin De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) and Shakur Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) have agreed to a deal to meet on Thursday, November 16th on ESPN in Las Vegas.
Devin Haney’s former WBC lightweight title will be at stake for the Shakur vs. De Los Santos contest. Haney chose to move up to 140 after having difficulty making weight for his last fight against Vasily Lomachenko at 135 last May.
This is going to be a tough one for Stevenson because he can’t take the chance of standing in front of the younger and far more powerful Southpaw De Los Santos because he could get clipped.
Recently, Shakur had been staying in the pocket and trading with his opponents to be more entertaining, but for this one against the 23-year-old Dominican Republic native De Los Santos, he’ll need to return to his trusty pull-back style that he’d used his entire pro and amateur career to keep from getting knocked out.
Shakur has got to look good if he wants to continue to build his fan base. If he runs from De Los Santos all night like he did against Jeremiah Nakathilia, the last big puncher he faced, it won’t matter if he wins. The fans won’t be impressed, and he’ll just be one of the many dull belt-holders in the sport.
Stevenson-De Los Santos is strategically being scheduled by Top Rank to take advantage of the huge influx of fans to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Grand Prix motor race.
Placing it on Thursday could hurt the viewership of hardcore boxing fans, but Top Rank is likely counting on race car fans sticking around to catch it on ESPN.
It’s still not official, so let’s hope this fight doesn’t go up in smoke like Shakur’s last agreed fight with Frank ‘The Ghost’ Martin, which fell apart over a disagreement about the purse split.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum believes Shakur is the next big star in the lightweight division, and he may be right. The division is empty of big names apart from Gervonta Davis, as Haney and Ryan Garcia have moved up. Vasily Lomachenko is getting older, and who knows how much longer he’ll be fighting.
Shakur Stevenson and Edwin De Los Santos have agreed to a deal for a Nov. 16 fight in Las Vegas for the vacant WBC lightweight title, sources told ESPN.
The bout will headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card on Thursday three days before Formula 1 debuts in Vegas.
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) September 13, 2023
“De Los Santos is the guy that beat Rayo. He’ll get outboxed pretty easy [by Shakur],” said trainer Robert Garcia to ESNEWS, picking Shakur Stevenson to defeat Edwin De Los Santos.
“Outboxed, yeah. It won’t be easy because he [De Los Santos] hits hard. Shakur can’t go out there and take risks because De Los Santos hits really hard, but Shakur outboxes him really easy.”