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Shakur Stevenson says the lightweight division is overrated


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Shakur Stevenson says the lightweight division is overrated

by Anthony Cocks

WBC and WBO super featherweight champion Shakur ‘Fearless’ Stevenson 19-0 (9) believes the lightweight division gets more props than it deserves.

The 135-pound weight class is widely regarded as on of the deepest in boxing, with Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney 29-0 (15) holding all four major world titles with former unified world champions George Kambosos Jr 20-2 (10) and Vasiliy Lomachenko 17-2 (11) competing in the division alongside leading contender Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis 27-0 (25).

Despite the apparent depth, 25-year-old southpaw Stevenson believes the division is overrated.

“I think 135 is an overrated division,” Stevenson told FightHype. “I think that all these dudes have been at the same weight all this time, and nobody really fought nobody.”

Teofimo Lopez 17-1 (13) moved up to junior welterweight following his split decision loss to Kambosos a year ago. Kambosos would go on to lose back-to-back fights against Haney in Australia this year.

Brooklyn’s Lopez, 25, shocked the boxing world when he won a unanimous decision over 34-year-old Ukrainian southpaw Lomachenko in October 2020.

Lomachenko and Haney are the only two boxers that Stevenson rates at 135-pounds.

“The only person that fought people that I can give credit for is Teofimo when he fought Lomachenko when Lomachenko was still on top and Devin when he fought Kambosos,” Stevenson said.

“Them dudes being at the same late, I feel everybody should have been fighting each other. We don’t know how good they are against someone like themselves.

“I can’t look at it like there are some killers in the division. It’s an overrated division. At least 147, besides Errol [Spence] and Terence [Crawford], them dudes was getting in the ring and fighting each other.

“I just feel like it’s an overrated division. They give these dudes a lot of credit and I don’t feel like they’ve been in the big, big fights yet. I don’t look at it the same way everybody else looks at it.”

Read more: https://www.ringnews24.com/2022/11/30/shakur-stevenson-says-the-lightweight-division-is-overrated/

Is Shakur right or wrong?

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This is a whole lot of TopRank promotional hot air. Tim Bradley recently "authored" a story whose theme was who can challenge Shakur at 135. Like he rules the division already. Cmon man he's not even there yet. Shakur should know plenty about not fighting anyone. It's how TopRank operates. He sailed through 126 and 130 with a modicum of heavy lifting. Valdez, yes; I'm not saying Shakur's done nothing. But Teofimo's gone to 140 so Shakur stays away from him. Haney and Loma look to be on a collision course. Shakur could put a shopworn Loma's name on his CV down the road. TopRank won't likely match Shakur outside their own stable. Bob may be learning something from Haymon/PBC; buy up the division and keep the fights in house. It'll still be awhile before Shakur even gets the chance to live up to the hype.

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  • 4 months later...

This Saturday 8th, April 2023 at Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, USA.

Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs), steps into the lightweight division in a 12-round non-title fight. His opponent is Japan's Shuichiro Yoshino (16-0, 12 KOs).

Will be shown on ESPN (US) and SkySports (UK).

Anyone seen much of Shuichiro Yoshino?

Stevenson vs Yoshino.jpg

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Yoshino lingered as Japanese champion for an awfully long time. Added the OPBF and Asian titles along the way but has never fought outside Japan. Been a full-fledged lightweight his entire career so can't accuse TopRank of cherry-picking an undersized opponent. Has recent wins over two opponents familiar to English-speaking audiences - Ito and Nakatani. Late to the game  - now 31 with 16 pro fights - and a near non-existent amateur career. Packs a punch with the 12 KO's. Stayed reasonably active during the pandemic period as did Shakur. Expect more of the same from Shakur though. He'll be too slick for Yoshino and he's fighting in his backyard to boot. TopRank would love it if Loma could upset Haney. They'd jump at the chance to match Shakur with Loma. Otherwise how does TopRank navigate Shakur to an alphabet belt at 135? Haney likely releases the belts on his way to 140 and Shakur continues to prove very little. The wild card could be if Tank Davis realizes he's best suited at lightweight. Could the same public pressure that's given us Tank-KingRy coax Shakur out of his TopRank cocoon? Shakur remains largely unproven in relation to the star his hype team would have us believe he is. He can get there but not even a win here will change much.

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