Bob Arum Doubts Isaac Cruz Will Challenge Shakur Stevenson
World-ranked lightweight Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs) has become a favorite of the hardcore sect because of his exciting style and punching power in the ring. He’s openly called for a fight against lightweight contender Ryan Garcia, undisputed 135-pound champ Devin Haney, and a rematch against WBA ‘regular’ lightweight champion Gervonta Davis. But is the hard-hitting Pitbull running from a matchup against two-division champion Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs)?
As 3Kings Boxing previously reported, the WBC ordered a match between Cruz and Stevenson during their recent convention in Acapulco. However, word on the street is that Team Cruz is reticent about a fight with Stevenson. It seems their apprehension is because they feel Stevenson’s slick, southpaw style is all wrong for their guy.
ARUM NOT OPTIMISTIC
During an exclusive interview with FightHype, Stevenson’s promoter, Bob Arum, was asked for a response to the WBC’s ruling. The man behind Top Rank promotions said the following when asked if he sees the fight happening:
“I don’t think so. I don’t think Cruz really is anxious to fight him because I don’t think anybody really is anxious to fight Shakur. So, I don’t think that fight will happen. I think we’ll probably go in a different direction for Shakur.”
Cruz is ranked by all four major sanctioning bodies (WBC #2, WBO #3, IBF #4, WBA #7). Arum disclosed that he reached out to Cruz’s promoter, Sean Gibbons, but believes they will shoot for a mandatory fight with another sanctioning body. As far as Stevenson? He expressed his feelings about the matter on social media.
From the perspective of Cruz and his camp, you can understand why there is possible hesitancy. Stevenson is hard to hit consistently. With his head and upperbody movement, and a terrific sense of anticipation, the pride of Newark, New Jersey is one of the best defensive fighters in the sport. Add in his excellent jab and underrated offense, and Stevenson is a daunting task for anyone in the division.
However, when mandated to fight someone, more times than not, fighters will accept when a world title shot awaits the winner. To bypass that opportunity is not a good look. It comes off as ducking to many fans.
Arum is still open to making the fight. But as it stands right now, the betting odds are that fight will not take place. Stay tuned to 3Kings Boxing for continual updates.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.