Shakur Stevenson has decided to stay at 130 following his victory over Felix Caraballo on June 9, and he wants to after the best in the division. At super featherweight, Stevenson is interested in facing WBC champion Miguel Berchelt according to Mike Coppinger.
Berchelt (37-1, 33 K.O.s) is viewed by many boxing fans as the #1 fighter in the 130-pound division today, and beating him would make Stevenson the top guy right away.
At super featherweight, Stevenson can fight these guys:
- Miguel Berchelt
- Jamel Herring
- Oscar Valdez
- Vasily Lomachenko – if he moves down from 135
- Leo Santa Cruz
- Joseph Diaz
Bob Arum, the promoter for Stevenson (14-0, 9 K.O.s), was interested in setting up a fight between him and IBF 126-pound champion Josh Warrington at featherweight.
Arum recently mentioned a week ago that he still wants to make the Stevenson vs. Warrington fight. The 22-year-old Shakur still holds the WBO featherweight title, and a match between him and Warrington would interest a lot of U.K. boxing fans if not U.S. fans. However, it doesn’t look like Stevenson has the same ideas.
The problem with Stevenson investing more time in trying to get a fight against Warrington is the wait that he would need to deal with. Warrington’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants to match him up against WBA secondary featherweight champion Can Xu next instead of putting him in with Stevenson. As such, if Stevenson wants to fight Warrington, which wouldn’t be a big deal for American boxing fans, he would likely need to wait until 2021.
So in other words, it would require that Stevenson invest an entire year waiting for the fight with the British fighter Warrington. Given how little interest there is for U.S. fans in seeing Shakur take on Warrington, it’s not worth it aside from the payday that he’ll get.
There a lot of great fights that Stevenson can get right away at super featherweight, and he doesn’t need to wait 12 to 18 months for those matches to take place. That’s why it’s better for Stevenson to go up t 130 rather than wait on a fight with Warrington for ages before it finally takes place.
Stevenson looked great this month in moving up to 130 and defeating Felix Caraballo by a sixth-round knockout on June 9 on ESPN in Las Vegas, Nevada. The skills and the speed was still there for Shakur, and he showed a new wrinkle in his game with his inside game.
Shakur twice knocked Caraballo with body shots in putting him on the floor in rounds one and six. Stevenson looked like a smaller version of Andre Ward with the way he attacked Caraballo’s body.
“Shakur Stevenson, who says he’s done fighting at 126 pounds and explains why he’s relishes a bout with Miguel Berchelt,” said Mike Coppinger on his Twitter.
With Stevenson still growing, it’s a good idea for him to move up to 130 now so that he can position himself to go up to 135 in a short period. The big-paying fights are going to be in the lightweight division for Shakur against these fighters:
- Teofimo Lopez
- Vasiliy Lomachenko
- Gervonta Davis
- Ryan Garcia
It would be smart for Stevenson to move up to 135 by 2022 after he cleans out the 130-pound division in 2021. Beating Berchelt maybe the only thing Stevenson needs to do before moving up to 135.
Oscar Valdez will be fighting Berchelt by early next year. The winner of that fight will probably be Berchelt, which narrows down the names that Stevenson needs to go after in 2021. Stevenson needs to take the scalps from Berchelt, Jamel Herring, and possibly Joseph Diaz before moving up to 135.
Unfortunately, Stevenson might not get a shot against Diaz or Leo Santa Cruz at 130 because of them being with different promoters. If that’s the case, then Stevenson should move up to 135 after he faces Berchelt and Herrig at 130.