Victory On Saturday Puts Shakur Stevenson In Line To Win Titles At 3 Weight Classes
Shakur Stevenson is back in action against the undefeated Shuichiro Yoshino this upcoming weekend on Sky Sports. It marks Stevenson’s first bout at lightweight, and serves as an eliminator for the WBC belt. It is a division in which he will surely ascend to world champion status to become a two-weight titleist.
Stevenson became a unified super-featherweight star against Oscar Valdez. He toyed with Valdez, a bona-fide world champion (albeit one who was shrouded in controversy, after returning an out of competition positive B sample for phentermine) in a performance which cemented his reputation as an elite level fighter, who would comfortably walk into the mix at lightweight.
A shot against the winner of Haney Lomachenko would be a tantalising prospect. While Haney may want the Stevenson fight soon before moving up a division himself and has also shown a willingness to take on the best, you just get the sense that we might have to wait a bit longer for that one.
If Lomachenko is the victor, it is a lesser sell to the US market, so may be easier to negotiate. There is also the factor of Lomachenko never being a natural lightweight, so it would be a good way for Stevenson to ease into the increased physicality of the 135 pound division, while still facing a formidable opponent.
However he gets it, there is a consensus feeling that Stevenson is champion elect at lightweight, meaning he won’t be waiting long for another night of crowing glory. He has an unrepentantly effective style to win fights. Against Jeremia Nakathila it wasn’t the most easy on the eye viewing at 5am on a Sunday morning, but you couldn’t deny he was winning without having to move out of first gear.
Based on footage of Yoshino’s technical decision win over Masayuki Ito, Stevenson may not have to move up the gears again on Saturday night. He got caught far too easily against Ito, so while Yoshino will endeavour to make it a close-up, scrappy encounter, you can just picture Stevenson picking him off at range with single shots all night long.
I’ll look forward to seeing where Tokkers can find the value in an on-paper one-sided contest, but my money would be on Stevenson to win a world championship at lightweight, even before the year is out!
Shakur Stevenson v Shuichiro Yoshino – WBC World Lightweight Title Eliminator – Sat April 8– Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, USA – Live On Sky Sports
By Harry Duffy