Berinchyk vs Shakur Stevenson Lightweight Unification Up Next?

Shakur Stevenson Eyes a Unification Opportunity

Shakur Stevenson eyes a unification fight with Denys Berinchyk
Shakur Stevenson vs Denys Berinchyk lightweight unification match could happen next

Shakur Stevenson Acknowledges Call-Out by Denys Berinchyk


Ukranian Denys Berinchyk (19-0, 9 KOs) captured the vacant WBO lightweight title with a split-decision (115-113 Berinchyk, 116-112 Navarrete, 116-112 Berinchyk) win over three-division champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete. Is the new WBO champion headed toward a potential unification battle with WBC 135-pound champion Shakur Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs)?

It was a sloppy affair at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California, as Berinchyk was able to pick and poke with shots and score enough points in a fight that was hard to score. The power that Vaquero showed in his world title reigns at 122, 126, and 130 were not present in this fight. Whenever he tried to step on the gas, Berinchyk responded.

Ultimately, the slickness, guile, and work-rate of Berinchyk proved to be the difference. On the heels of countryman Oleksandr Usyk’s win over Tyson Fury to become the undisputed heavyweight champion, Berinchyk’s win capped off what has to be the most historic day in Ukrainian professional boxing history.

EYEING THE ELITES AT 135

During the post-fight interview, Berinchyk mentioned Stevenson as an opponent he’d like to fight. Upon hearing what was said, the WBC champion quickly went to social media with the following response:

Stevenson versus Berinchyk is a makeable matchup as they fight for promotional powerhouse Top Rank. But over the last few months, there have been rumblings that the WBC champion is at odds with the company because he’s frustrated by the inability to secure a big fight at lightweight.

The Newark, New Jersey native is technically a free agent. He has an upcoming title defense against Artem Harutyunyan on July 6. But word on the street is that Stevenson may seek another promoter after his fight in July.

In all likelihood, the newly-crowned WBO champion wants the biggest opportunities available. At age 36, the WBO belt-holder doesn’t have time to waste and wants to make as much money as possible. If Stevenson re-signs with Top Rank, they could move him towards a fight with Berinchyk at some point in 2025.

Featured Article: Usyk HURTS Fury To Win Undisputed World Title & Talks Rematch!

About Mike W.2010 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.