Shakur Stevenson vs. Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz has been ordered today by the WBC as a final 135-lb title eliminator to decide the mandatory challenger for champion Devin Haney.
Shakur has already made it clear on social media today that he won’t “duck or dodge” the Pitbull Cruz fight, which some boxing fans think his promoters at Top Rank might choose to do. Top Rank will ultimately decide whether or not to let Stevenson take the risky match against Pitbull Cruz.
The World Boxing Council ordered the Stevenson-Cruz fight today at their conversion in Mexico. It’s the ideal fight for the 2016 U.S Olympic silver medalist Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) to increase his popularity overnight. Shakur’s WBC-ordered bout with Pitbull Cruz will be a real firefight from start to finish.
Pitbull Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs) has the style to give pure boxers like Shakur real trouble. We saw what Cruz did against WBA ‘regular’ lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis last December, getting the better of him on the inside throughout the canvas, forcing the champion to get on his bike.
After the fight, Tank Davis complained of having an injured left hand, but it didn’t look that swollen, and it appeared to some boxing fans that he was looking for an excuse to take the heat off him from his poor showing against the young 24-year-old Pitbull.
I don’t duck and dodge anybody 🤷🏾♂️ https://t.co/joGU8RIlna
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) November 9, 2022
If everything goes as planned, the winner of the Shakur vs. Cruz contest will face the Haney vs. Vasyl Lomachenko winner in the second half of next year.
In an ideal world, Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) will defeat Haney, and Shakur will beat Pitbull Cruz, which will set up a huge Lomachenko-Sevenson clash for all the marbles at lightweight.
Haney wouldn’t be as interesting as the opponent for Stevenson because it would result in a chess match that would likely be boring to watch. Lomachenko would be more willing to mix up with Shakur than Haney, especially if he gets off to a slow start as he did in his recent fight against Jamaine Ortiz.
Stevenson recently defeated Robson Conceição last September and WBC 130-lb champion Oscar Valdez before that in April.
Of course, that would depend on whether Haney chooses to stay at lightweight for one additional fight should he defeat Lomachenko.