Former two-division world champion Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) will be coming home to face unbeaten Shuichiro Yoshino (16-0, 12 KOs) in a 12 round lightweight fight in the headliner on April 8th in a Top Rank-promoted fight on ESPN at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The card starts at 10 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+.
The winner of the Stevenson vs. Yoshino fight will be in a great position to challenge for a world title later this year. Stevenson is coming off an impressive 12 round decision win over Robson Conceição last September.
After missing weight and losing his WBC, WBO & Ring Magazine super featherweight titles, Stevenson took care of business, outboxing Conceicao from start to finish.
Shakur’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, wants him to face the winner of the May 20th fight between undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney & Vasyl Lomachenko. Whether that happens will depend on which of the two emerges victorious.
The undercards have two super fighters in separate bouts, with heavyweight Jared Anderson (13-0, 13 KOs) and lightweight Keyshawn Davis (7-0, 5 KOs) in a pair of 10 round fights.
Neither fighter has an opponent yet, but Keyshawn reportedly faces Emmanuel Tagoe (32-2, 15 KOs). Ideally, Top Rank will match the 23-year-old Keyshawn & Anderson against top 15 contenders, so they have opponents that can help them build their fanbases.
Arum excited by Shakur’s potential
“Shakur Stevenson is one of the most gifted fighters I’ve had the pleasure of promoting, and I look forward to seeing him once again fight in front of his incredible hometown fans in Newark,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.
“Yoshino is a tough fighter and won’t be deterred by the hostile crowd. Jared Anderson and Keyshawn Davis are two of the sport’s emerging superstars, and I can’t wait to see them back in the ring.”
Arum is moving these three young potential superstars quickly, knowing that for them to become stars fast, they’ll need to battle the big names soon if they want to catch them while they’re still at the height of their popularity.
Keyshawn & Shakur want to fight for world titles, but both will need to wait a little while longer before they eventually get their shot. The 2020 Olympian Keyshawn is coming off a career-best win over Juan Carlos Burgos last December in an impressive performance.
Last April, Shakur defeated WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision in a fight that was surprisingly easy for him.