WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson is about to relinquish that title as he prepares for a move up to challenge the rest of the field at 130 pounds.
This is typically the part where I tell you “sources close to Stevenson have stated as such.” But, Stevenson mentioned as much on his own Twitter Wednesday and then, said as much in an interview with Top Rank during the broadcast Thursday night of Carlos Takam-Jerry Forrest card.
“Idc (I don’t care) who at 130 this my weight class now,” said Stevenson Wednesday on Twitter.
Idc who at 130 this my weight class now🙄
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) July 9, 2020
This move should come as a shock to no-one, as Stevenson had also mentioned as much moving up in weight, when he was last in action blasting out Felix Caraballoin six rounds at Jr. Lightweight last month.
With Stevenson moving up to 130, who will he try to challenge next?
The old WBO route of mandatory challengers when a champion of a prior weigh class moves would point to current champion at 130 Jamel Herring. Stevenson said the possibility of that wasn’t ideal talking to Boxingscene.com last month.
“The thing with that is I will fight Jamel if I have no other choice but to fight him,” Stevenson stated to BoxingScene.com. “We work with the same people. Bo-Mac, Red, they help me out a lot, also. So, I’m not gonna get on record and call out Jamel Herring because me and him are real tight. Like, we all are locked in with the same people. We work with the same lady that helps us cut weight.
What is also interesting in Stevenson not wanting to fight Herring is the notion that he may not have to as Herring himself has recently expressed interest in moving back up to 135, which was the weight class he began his career.
While that isn’t likely anytime soon, as Herring is in action next Tuesday in Top Rank’s “bubble” taking on Johnathan Oquendo in his title defense, it would be more interesting how this will play out as this pandemic plays on.
The “what if Herring vacates” scenario that would get interesting, as the rankings currently have fighters who are tied to other fights or not able to challenge due to travel restrictions. That is, until you get to Abraham Nova at number seven, who just defeated Avery Sparrow in Las Vegas late last month.
So, Herring isn’t on the radar, so who is for Stevenson?
Stevenson, during the Top Rank interview, stated he wanted to challenge another Top Rank fighter and current WBC champion Miguel Berchelt. Time will play that out, and Oscar Valdez is still the slated opponent for Berchelt at some point down the line.
He also mentioned the other champions he’d like to face at 130 lbs.
We’ll see who lines up and shakes out now that the undefeated Stevenson is making room there, as well.