Bob Arum has plans for Shakur Stevenson to fight once before taking on Josh Warrington!
2019 saw Shakur Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs) go from a highly touted and talented prospect to winning the WBO World Featherweight title. In 2020, the plan now for fighter known as “Fearless” is to take an even bigger step in his professional career.
STEVENSON EYES UNIFICATION BOUT WITH WARRINGTON
After defeating Joet Gonzalez to win the on October 26, Stevenson immediately called for a fight against IBF world champion Josh Warrington. Actually, the newly crowned champion has been calling for that fight all year!
The two men have done their fair share of trash talk over social media over.
Negotiations are currently taking place between Stevenson’s promoter Bob Arum and Frank Warren, the promoter of Warrington. The goal is for the two to face off in an IBF/WBO Featherweight unification bout in either May or June of 2020.
STAY BUSY FIGHT
According to a sit-down interview with ESPN, Arum wants a stay-busy fight for the 22-year-old southpaw before jumping into a unification. Having just won a world title, Arum wants his young charge to stay sharp.
As a result, he is planning to have Stevenson return to the ring on March 14 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on ESPN, possibly against Miguel Marriaga.
“There’s no reason he can’t fight in March and then again in May in the U.K. Or maybe in June against Warrington.”
Marriaga is a hard-punching 33-year-old from Arjona, Colombia who has challenged twice previously for a world title. He lost by split decision to then WBO World Featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in April 2017 and was stopped in seven rounds to then WBO World Super Featherweight titlist Vasiliy Lomachancko in October 2017.
Because he’s young and still developing, it would be smart to keep Stevenson active. A long layoff before a potential unification bout against an aggressive fighter like Warrington would not be wise.
RISK AND REWARD
While the end-goal is a showdown with the 29-year-old from Leeds, England, there’s nothing wrong taking a tune-up beforehand. To shoot for a unification bout so early in a boxer’s career is certainly ambition on the part of Arum and Top Rank.
However, given the sheer talent displayed from the product of Newark, New Jersey it may well be worth the gamble. So the time may be right to take such a risk, even if it means possibly traveling to England.
Please stay tuned to 3KingsBoxing for any further developments.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.