Shakur Stevenson thinks Vasily Lomachenko has nowhere else to go but to fight him next now that Devin Haney has moved up to light welterweight to fight WBC 140-lb champion Regis Prograis.
Haney will be stripped of his WBC lightweight title the moment he steps in the ring to fight Prograis, which leaves his 135-lb belt free for Shakur and possibly Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs) to fight for him if he chooses.
Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs has already said that he wants to fight for the vacant WBC belt, and he’s under the impression that Lomachenko will take the fight with him, given that he’s the biggest payday available to him and it’s the quickest path to him winning a world title.
Lomachenko hasn’t said what he wants to do next, but it makes sense for him to fight Shkur if the money is right. If not, he might go after one of the other belts that are slowly stripped from Haney, who seems like he won’t return to the lightweight division unless he can get a fight against Gervonta David, which doesn’t look like it’s going to be happening.
If Lomachenko doesn’t take the fight with Shakur, the New Jersey native will fight one of these contenders for the vacant WBC lightweight title:
3. Isaac Cruz
4. William Zepeda
5. Frank Martin
6. Edwin De Los Santos
7. Jamaine Ortiz
8. Artem Harutyunyan
9. Shuichiro Yoshino
10. Raymond Muratalla
“I think it’s a very strong possibility it does. Honestly, I don’t see nobody else for Lomachenko to fight,” said Shakur Stevenson to Fighthype when asked if he thinks a fight with Vasily Lomachenko will happen next.
Lomachenko has more options than Shakur thinks. Loma has already been offered a fight with IBF mandatory George Kambosos Jr in Australia.
He can also return to the super featherweight division to fight the winner of this Saturday night’s contest between WBO 130-lb champion Emanuel Navarrete & Oscar Valdez. That would be a nice payday for Lomachenko.
“I honestly don’t see anybody for him to fight. Devin is not going to run it back with him,” said Shakur. “I just don’t see anybody getting in there with Lomachenko that would be a big fight for him to make the type of money he will make with me.
“So I see us fighting, and I see it being a hell of a fight, but I’m going to put this out there early. I am not Devin [Haney], and I’m not hating on him. I still think Devin is a great fighter. I don’t take anything away from him but
“Yeah, we had a couple of sparring sessions. I was helping him get ready for Rigondeaux [in 2017]. I was 19 years old. It was great work. I can’t s**t on Lomachenko. He definitely proved he was a hell of a fighter there, and I proved I was a hell of a fighter.
“It was mutual respect on both parts. Not really,” said Shakur when asked if Lomachenko has changed since he sparred with him six years ago. “Lomachenko, with the experience he got, he’s always going to be a tough fighter to bet for anybody.
“Honestly, I feel like he should be undisputed right now because I feel he won [against Devin Haney]. He’s got two gold medals and one loss in the amateurs with 300 amateur fights.
“He went pro. Two of his losses [Haney & Orlando Salido]. I feel he’s an elite-level fighter. I just can’t wait to get in the ring with him. I thought he was on the backend [of his career] before the Devin fight. I thought Devin was going to wash him and outbox him easily.
“Lomachenko still looks good. He’s still in great shape and is a great fighter. I think Lomachenko has great footwork still. In his last fight, he was darting in & out real quick, and before you know it, he would be inside, and you didn’t know how quickly he’d get in there.
“As I said, I think he’s still at a high skill level, and the fighter he is, and I can’t wait to fight him. It intrigues me, turns me up, gets me going to know that I get to fight somebody that’s highly skilled,” said Shakur about Lomachenko.