Shakur Stevenson April Return Made Official
Former two division world champ Shakur Stevenson will officially return to headline for Top Rank Boxing in April.
The promotional outlet made the official announcement Saturday afternoon that Stevenson will fight Japan’s Shuichiro Yoshino in a WBC 135 lb. eliminator bout in his hometown.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) February 4, 2023
Here’s more from the Top Rank official release:
“The pound-for-pound fighting pride of “Brick City” has packed the house before, and he is set to do it again.
Undefeated former two-weight world champion Shakur Stevenson will take on Japanese puncher Shuichiro Yoshino in a 12-round WBC lightweight title eliminator Saturday, April 8, at Prudential Center in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey.
In the co-feature, heavyweight knockout artist Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson aims for another stoppage in a 10-rounder against an opponent to be named. And, in the 10-round televised opener, rising lightweight and U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis fights a to-be-determined foe.
“Shakur Stevenson is one of the most gifted fighters I’ve had the pleasure of promoting, and I look forward to seeing him once again fight in front of his incredible hometown fans in Newark,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Yoshino is a tough fighter and won’t be deterred by the hostile crowd. Jared Anderson and Keyshawn Davis are two of the sport’s emerging superstars, and I can’t wait to see them back in the ring.”
Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs), a former featherweight and junior lightweight world champion, returns home following last September’s triumph against Robson Conceição. The stubborn Conceição lasted the distance, but Stevenson dominated in front of 10,107 fans at Prudential Center. It was the first time Stevenson had fought at Prudential Center since July 2019 and established the venue as one of the sport’s most raucous hometown crowds.
Stevenson won the WBO junior lightweight title with a 10th-round knockout over Jamel Herring in October 2021, then unified the division with a stirring 12-round display over WBC king Oscar Valdez the following April. Those victories propelled Stevenson, a 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, to the top 10 of most pound-for-pound lists. He now sets his sights on a third weight class and a spot atop the pound-for-pound throne.
“I am taking over the lightweight division and my run will start on April 8 in Newark. Shuichiro Yoshino is an undefeated fighter who was willing to step up and fight me when so many fighters were scared,” Stevenson said. “My last fight at the Prudential Center was just the start of what I’m building in Jersey. We are going to pack the Prudential Center again and show the world who the future of boxing really is.”
Yoshino (16-0, 12 KOs), the WBC’s No. 5 contender, is a former Japanese lightweight champion who compiled a 104-20 amateur record. After seven defenses of his Japanese title, Yoshino rose in the rankings following a banner 2022. Last April, he won a bloody technical decision over former world champion Masayuki Ito after Ito suffered a cut over his left eye.
He followed up the Ito triumph in November with a sixth-round stoppage over Masayoshi Nakatani, best known to fans for his stands against Teofimo Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko. Yoshino has never fought away from Japan and hopes to spoil Stevenson’s homecoming.
“I am very honored to be fighting in the U.S. for the first time. I’m extremely focused and motivated,” Yoshino said. “I’m looking forward to fighting the great two-division champion, Shakur Stevenson, in his hometown of Newark. I’ll be training hard leading up to the fight and look forward to showing the fans an exciting victory!”
Anderson (13-0, 13 KOs), a 23-year-old from Toledo, Ohio, has notched five consecutive second-round stoppages, including a demolition of the normally durable Jerry Forrest last December. Anderson received international headlines for his work as a sparring partner of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, but he is now firmly established as a potential heavyweight champion.
Davis (7-0, 5 KOs), from Norfolk, Virginia, went to the Tokyo Olympics as a 3-0 professional and returned home with a silver medal and a long-term promotional contract with Top Rank. He is 4-0 since signing with the promotional powerhouse in late 2021, including three stoppage victories and last December’s shutout over former world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos. Davis shined at Prudential Center last September, stopping Omar Tienda in five rounds.
Stevenson-Yoshino and the returns of Anderson and Davis will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN, Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.