Onto The Next One: Shakur Stevenson Says Goodbye To Super Featherweight

Shakur Stevenson has announced his intention to move up to lightweight
11:00, 25 Sep 2022

Shakur Stevenson said his farewells to super featherweight on Friday with a dominant unanimous decision win over Robson Conceicao. In actuality, the Olympic silver medalist said goodbye to 130lbs on the scales on Thursday, when he scaled 1.6 pounds over that limit. Stevenson gave up his WBC and WBO championships rather than risk boiling down further, before announcing his intention to move up to lightweight. 

While the indignity of a tainted final appearance at super featherweight wasn’t ideal, particularly for Conceicao, the idea of Stevenson competing at 135lbs is mouthwatering. Lightweight is the most well-stocked division in boxing, with no end of box office talent that could keep Stevenson busy for years on end.


George Kambosos Jr is next in line to challenge for Devin Haney’s undisputed lightweight championship, in a rematch of his decision loss back in June. In such a busy division, it seems unlikely Stevenson will go straight in with the winner of this bout. But a fight with the loser would be a super introduction to the division. 

Facing the slick Haney would be very exciting stylistically, considering the parallels the two gifted speedsters share. Kambosos would pose entirely different problems. More will than skill, Teofimo Lopez found the Australian at his irrepressible best when losing the lightweight championship to him last year. It would be fascinating to see Stevenson deal with a bigger, stronger man who doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit.

Before going in at championship level though, Stevenson will likely test out the landscape with a slightly lower-ranked foe. Such is the depth at lightweight, there are plenty of exciting options here too. Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz and William Zepeda are set to meet in November. Either fighter would mean a challenging night and an entertaining fight for Shakur. Diaz is always exciting and never shirks a challenge. He has pedigree as a former super feather belt-holder, and he took Haney the distance for the WBC lightweight strap last year. Zepeda is a knockout artist on the rise with world titles in his future. Either man would be a fine first scalp for Stevenson.


Isaac Cruz is teak-tough and has quality wins against Yuriorkis Gamboa and Diego Magdaleno on his record. He has been beaten by the very best, losing a WBA title challenge to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis in 2021. Stevenson should be considered in that category and would likely have too much for him. An outside shout could be Britain’s Maxi Hughes, who has crept into the world rankings on the back of a fine run of form. 

After easing into the division, Stevenson will pursue greater challenges. There’s plenty of those at lightweight too. True superfights that don’t even require a world title to make them exciting. Ryan Garcia is one such battle. The divisive but undeniably gifted ‘KingRy’ talks a big game but is yet to secure a truly world class win. Stevenson has been there and done it at world level across two divisions already. A dream concoction for fans, this would be a true pick ‘em between two boxers with something to prove.

The aforementioned ‘Tank’ Davis would be viewed in some quarters as the hardest fight out there. The destructive three-weight world champion is the most feared 135-pounder in the world. Stevenson has never met a fighter with power like that of the Baltimore boxer. However, Davis has never faced someone with the complete skill set of Stevenson. Grab the popcorn, this is going to be some fight


Lomachenko is the final fighter we will touch upon in this roll call of possible future opponents. Saving the best until last? Quite possibly. The unique Ukrainian is a fighter unlike any other. Speed, power, defensive smarts; he is the entire package. So is Stevenson. Lomachenko has spent more time at the top level and has faced better opposition. That could be enough to give him the edge. Or perhaps years of combat and that tough loss to Lopez will finally catch up to ‘The Matrix’? This is the fight where Stevenson would be priced as the biggest underdog but he would still be a live one. In boxing, every torch gets passed on eventually. Now might be the time for Stevenson to take it by force. 

That is essentially what this comes down to. Stevenson is moving up to boxing’s most exciting division to take the torch. It is the best lower-weight platform to assert yourself as a genuine pound-for-pound leader. Victories against three or four of the gentleman listed above would solidify him as one of the best fighters of this generation. Wins against five or six of them would make him a legend. At the age of just 25 there is plenty of time to build a legacy. Now Shakur Stevenson finds himself in the perfect place to do it.

boxing betting*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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