Shakur Stevenson: Arum Excuses “Mistake,” Sees Future Greatness, Eyes Top 140lb Fights

By Tim Compton - 02/06/2024 - Comments

Promoter Bob Arum says Shakur Stevenson will be one of the best fighters of our era, and he believes he made a mistake by retiring.

The Top Rank boss Arum says he’ll speak with Shakur (21-0, 10 KOs) this Thursday night to discuss his future. He wants to bring Shakur back to set up fights for him to defend his WBC lightweight title.

Arum states that Shakur is ambitious and doesn’t want to wait for the big fights.

The three-division world champion Shakur wants them now, but unfortunately, the fighters he’s targeting, Emanuel Navarrete and Vasily Lomachenko, have fights in the pipeline and are unavailable right now.

Arum Acknowledges Stevenson’s Talent

“Stevenson is a really good fighter, potentially one of the best ever in boxing. So, a kid like that is very willing to fight anybody, and he’s very ambitious,” said Bob Arum to Fight Hub TV, talking about Shakur Stevenson, who retired last week.

“When things don’t break the way he would like, he gets very disappointed and despondent. So, I know he wanted to fight [Emanuel] Navarrete, which would have been a great fight,” said Arum.

What Arum didn’t say is that Shakur’s recent performance against Edwin De Los Santos, which was highly defensive and caused fans backlash, has likely contributed to him not getting the fights he wants.

Shakur will have to change his fighting style to become more of a pocket fighter if he wants the notable fighters to face him because talented guys don’t want to chase a mover all around the ring, especially a young one like him.

“Navarrete was up there as one of the WBO’s too, so he’s fighting Denys Berinchyk for the title, but that’s the way boxing works. Lomachenko had a great opportunity to fight in Australia against Kambosos. So, he wasn’t available,” said Arum.

Patience is Key

“There’s a lot of good fighters out there for Shakur to fight, but I really excuse what Shakur did because he is that kind of talent that is almost getting a little ahead of himself because he’s so anxious to reach the top,” said Arum.

Patience is definitely what Shakur needs, but he also must change his fighting style. That’ll lead to Stevenson getting fights a lot faster, and he won’t have to wait years and years.

“He’ll be fine in the years ahead. He’ll be recognized as the great fighter he wants to be, the greatest fighter in the world. Certainly the greatest fighter of his era,” said Arum.

“You’ve got to talk to him. Not lose your cool, not get angry, but talk him through it. I know his manager James Prince is doing that. So, I hope that I’ll be able to talk a lot of sense to Shakur because he is, believe me, a major talent.

“He made a mistake. He corrected it. Leave him alone,” said Arum about Shakur making a mistake by announcing his retirement on social media. “He’s coming to the fight on Thursday, and I’ll have plenty of time to speak with him privately.

Open to Top Fighters at 140

“We’d love that. The question is, do they want to fight him?” said Arum when asked if he’d be interested in matching Shakur against Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, or Subriel Matias from the 140-lb division.”

It’s safe to say that Ryan and Haney won’t agree to fight Stevenson in the foreseeable future. They won’t do it because he’s all wrong for them. IBF light welterweight champion Matias (20-1, 20 KOs) would likely accept a fight with Stevenson, but it’s unlikely that Shakur would want to face him.

“Certainly, the three names you mentioned. If they were available, we’d do that fight next. There’s no question about it. Shakur has amazing confidence in his abilities, and so do we,” said Arum.

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Last Updated on 02/06/2024