Shakur Stevenson is coming off the best win of his career, but an issue with making weight has cost him his WBC and WBO super featherweight titles.
He takes on 2016 Olympic Gold Medallist Robson Conceicao at the Prudential Arena in Newark this Friday evening, where the belts will be at stake for the Brazilian only.
Top Rank promote, and the action can be seen on Sky Sports in the UK, and ESPN in the USA.
Stevenson was over a pound over the super featherweight weight limit at the weigh in, and was simply unable to shift the excess.
“I gave it my all” said Stevenson on his Twitter account.
“I’ve been professional my whole career and made weight, but my body just can’t make 130 anymore. My health has to come first. I’m moving to 135 in my next fight”\
I gave it my all. I’ve been professional my whole career and made weight, but my body just can’t make 130 anymore. My health has to come first. I’m moving up to 135 in my next fight.
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) September 22, 2022
Conceicao will be compensated for the inconvenience, and will aim to make Stevenson pay twice by taking the now two vacant titles.
Stevenson (18-0, KO9) is an Olympic medallist himself, after striking Silver at the same 2016 games as his opponent this weekend. He has made great strides as a professional, first becoming world champion in just his 13th fight, taking the vacant WBO featherweight title in October 2019 with a wide points win over Joet Gonzalez. A move up in weight followed, and after becoming interim WBO boss, he won the full title in style, as he thrashed Jamel Herring before taking a masterful tenth round stoppage in October last year. The 25-year-old was last out in April, and he made what should have been a tough test against WBC champion, Oscar Valdez, into a procession, dropping Valdez on the way to another clear points win.
He now faces Brazil’s Conceicao (17-1, KO8), and the contest is likely to be a technical affair. The 33-year-old has once previously challenged for world honours, also against Oscar Valdez, in September last year, and he was competitive in a points defeat. He returned in January, taking the unbeaten record of Xavier Martinez over ten rounds in a wide win.
Prediction: Stevenson has been very impressive to date, and is already a superb technical boxer. His meeting with Conceicao is likely to be cagey in the early going, but I expect Stevenson to pull away after halfway, and can score a late stoppage here.
There are four eight rounders on the bill.
At super featherweight, Henry Lebron (16-0, KO10) should take the win, but is likely to need the distance to take care of Andy Vences (23-3-1, KO12). 19-year-old Jahi Tucker (8-0, KO5) should also remain unbeaten, and can halt Jose Luis Sanchez (11-2-1, KO4) inside schedule.
Virginia lightweight Keyshawn Davis (5-0, KO4) should bank another early win, this time against Omar Tienda Bahena (25-5, KO18). Orlando Gonzalez Ruiz (18-1, KO11) can come through unscathed in a points win against Misael Lopez (13-1, KO5) at featherweight.
In six round action, Bruce Carrington (4-0, KO3) can see off Jose Argel (9-4, KO3) at featherweight inside the distance, and at super bantamweight, Floyd Diaz (6-0, KO2) can take the battle of unbeatens against Eduardo de Oliveira Guedes Diogo (3-0, KO2) on the cards. At welterweight, Pablo Valdez (6-0, KO5) can take a stoppage win against Noe Alejandro Lopez (11-5-1, KO4).
The sole four rounder also comes at welterweight, where Antoine Cobb (1-0-1, KO1) can win his rematch against Jaylan Phillips (1-2-1, KO1), after they drew in their first contest.