Shakur Stevenson Ready To Deliver In Front Of Home Fans?
Coming up Friday night in Newark, NJ, Shakur Stevenson will defend his unified 130 lb. world titles in a homecoming defense that he’s clearly been looking forward to. Now, we’ll see if his opponent, Brazilian Robson Conceicao, can potentially spoil his plans of a big weekend.
The fighters held their final press conference before the WBC and WBO junior lightweight championships go on the line in the Top Rank Boxing/ESPN main event,
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) September 19, 2022
From the Top Rank release,
“Shakur Stevenson is two days away from the ultimate homecoming. The WBC/WBO/Ring Magazine junior lightweight king will defend his belts Friday evening against Robson Conceição (17-1, 8 KOs) at Prudential Center. Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, is a Newark native who is fighting at home as a world champion for the first time.
Before Stevenson and Conceição took the mic, the Mayor’s Office of the City of Newark presented Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) with a proclamation declaring September 21, 2022, as Shakur Stevenson Day in the city. That was followed up by special plaque from Quitman Street School students, Stevenson attended Quitman Street for elementary school, and the building sits less than a mile from Prudential Center.
In the eight-round lightweight co-feature, U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis (5-0, 4 KOs) steps up in class against Omar Tienda (25-5, 18 KOs).
“Honestly, I’m just ready to fight. I’m not really focused on the pressure. I don’t care about all that. I’m really focused on putting in the work on Friday night. I’m just ready to fight at the end of the day. All I can think about is fighting and performing. That’s everything that’s on my mind,” Stevenson told the media Wednesday.
“He’s a good fighter. But I think he lost against Valdez. If you left it in the judges’ hands, then you lost. I fought Valdez, and I beat the s*** out of him. I don’t have any excuses. He’s talking about having COVID or something before his last fight. All I hear are excuses. I’m ready to fight. Tell him to not have any excuses on Friday night. I’m ready to beat him up.”
“I never leave it in the hands of the judges. I go in there and take everything that I want.”
As for the former world title challenger Conceição, who previously lost to Oscar Valdez in a narrow decision last Fall, he said Wednesday,
“I’m very motivated. I’ve trained all my life for this moment. The world was able to see that I was better than Oscar Valdez. I should have won. So, he’s not really defending two titles because one should have been mine. I’m a champion without a crown, and I’m ready for Friday night.”
“Shakur is someone that I really respect. He’s a great athlete. I can tell that he’s young, probably overly excited and speaks a little too much. This coming Friday, there will only be one champ, and that champ is me.”
Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) returns to Prudential Center following his dominant win over Oscar Valdez back in April. That’s when he unified two junior lightweight titles in a near-shutout decision. He is a two division world champ having previously held the WBO featherweight title, as well.
As for Conceição (17-1, 8 KOs), he made history as Brazil’s first Olympic boxing gold medalist, and after his loss to Valdez in September 2021, he knocked off previously undefeated Xavier Martinez in a decision on the Top Rank show in Tulsa, OK, in April. That has him right back in a title shot coming up.
Friday’s bout headlines on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)