Promoter Eddie Hearn says he thinks Shakur Stevenson is “unbeatable at 135” and that undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney won’t be “queuing up” to fight him because he knows how good he is.
Stevenson looks hard to beat right now at 135, and with his boxing skills, it’s very likely that he would dethrone Haney with ease. The reel test for Shakur at lightweight is Gervonta Davis, but the odds of that fight happening are slim.
Gervonta was arguably steered around Vasily Lomachenko during his prime by his former promoters at Mayweather Promotions, and current management isn’t likely to want to put him in with Shakur and watch him get soundly beaten. Above all, the Gervonta money train must stay on the tracks.
For Hearn to speak so freely, he must feel that his chances of re-signing Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) to Matchroom Boxing is slim. But Hearn has already signed 2020 Olympian Andy Cruz, arguably a more talented fighter than Haney, before he’s even fought his first pro fight.
Hearn’s praise of Shakur won’t go unnoticed. The Newark, New Jersey native will surely hear the positive comments from Hearn, and who knows? When Shakur’s contract with Top Rank expires, Matchroom would be an option.
What would be disappointing is if Shakur is avoided by the top guys at 135 and fails to get any of the best fighters to face him. The lightweight division is slowly thinning with Ryan Garcia & Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero moving up to 140, and Haney is expected to move up in 2024.
If Gervonta chooses to avoid Shakur, the only competition he’ll have is from Andy Cruz.
“It’s obviously more difficult to make a cross-promotional fight. I don’t see Devin [beating Shakur]. Shakur Stevenson, for me, as fond as I am of Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson, for me, I think he’s unbeatable,” said Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to Fight Hub TV.
“I think he’s a tremendous talent. He’s a little bit stuck in the same bracket as not a huge draw in terms of his ability and in terms of his achievements, but he’s outstanding,” Hearn said of Shakur Stevenson.
“I don’t see anyone beating Shakur Stevenson at 135. He’s one of those guys, like Loma, that’s going to get beat by moving through the divisions. Canelo is another good example. Potentially [Naoya] Inoue.
“These fantastic fighters have to move up to take bigger challenges, and I don’t think Devin is going to be queuing up to fight Shakur Stevenson because those guys grew up together, and Devin will believe he can win, but he also knows how good Shakur is and that fight will be difficult to make, in my opinion,” said Hearn.