RUMOR MILL: Stevenson v Yoshino WBC Eliminator In Negotiations

Has Shakur Stevenson Found a Challenger for a WBC Eliminator?

Shakur Stevenson in talks to face Shuichiro Yoshino in WBC eliminator
Shakur Stevenson (L, Credit: Steve Marcus/Getty Images), Shuichiro Yoshino

Shuichiro Yoshino Could Challenge Shakur Stevenson in a WBC Eliminator!


It appears that two-division champion Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) has an opponent for what is to be a WBC lightweight title eliminator match in Shuichiro Yoshino (16-0, 12 KOs). According to ESPN, they are close to finalizing a deal for a fight on April 8 in the United States.

Originally the WBC ordered Stevenson to face former world junior lightweight title challenger Isaac “Pit Bull” Cruz. But feeling that Stevenson’s style was problematic for their fighter, Team Cruz turned down the fight.

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Next was an attempt put Stevenson in the ring with unbeaten Mexican William Zepeda. His camp also refused a match against Stevenson. One-time unified champion George Kambosos Jr also turned down the opportunity to fight the two-division champ.

In Yoshino, Stevenson would battle one of Japan’s more highly regarded contenders. The 31-year-old resident of Tokyo is coming off an impressive 2022. In April of that year, he came away with an eleventh-round technical decision win over one-time WBO junior lightweight champion Masayuki Ito. Yoshino followed that up with a sixth-round stoppage over perennial world lightweight contender Masayoshi Nakatani in November 2022.

NOT A PUSHOVER

For those who have not seen Yoshino in action, he is a versatile fighter who has good power in either hand. In his win over Ito, Yoshino elected to box, using his jab, faster hands, and combination punches to pick Ito apart. Against the taller Nakatani, Yoshino was more aggressive and took the fight to his opponent. He was able to use the jab to get inside and overwhelm the rugged Nakatani with combinations.

The hope from all parties is that Stevenson-Yoshino will be a done deal and announced soon. Should that be the case, the fight would likely land in the United States and air on one of the ESPN platforms. Stay tuned to 3Kings Boxing for further updates.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.2017 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.