By: Hans Themistode
Undefeated Featherweight contender Shakur Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs) has grown accustomed to making adjustments. During the 2016 Olympic games, he fought great fighter after great fighter. Each and every time he was forced to make an adjustment. Those in ring adjustments led to the New Jersey born native winning a silver medal.
In Stevenson’s last bout, he once again had to make alterations during a fight. In just his 11th pro bout, Stevenson was matched up against former title challenger Christopher Diaz. The aforementioned Diaz not only won was dominant during his career up to that point, but he also managed to stop five of his past six opponents as well. Stevenson made it look easy as he cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
On July 13th, Stevenson will receive a hometown bout in Newark, New Jersey, at the Prudential Center. The undefeated Hairon Socarras (22-0-3, 14 KOs) was first reported to have taken the bout against Stevenson. Shortly after, for reasons that are still unclear, Socarras pulled himself from the bout.
Socarras, who is known as a boxer puncher, was replaced with the hard hitting Franklin Manzanilla (18-5, 17 KOs). It was a contrast of fighting styles but as previously mentioned, Stevenson had no issues alternating his fight game plan.
With just a few days left til the fight, Manzanilla, for reasons that were also unspecified, pulled out of the fight as well. Stepping in to take his place is former will be former two time title challenger Alberto Guevara (27-4, 12 KOs).
Once again, Stevenson will be tasked with taking on an opponent with a completely different style than what he was preparing for. To the credit of Stevenson however, he hasn’t complained. He is simply focused on putting on a spectacular performance in front of his hometown crowd.
“I give Alberto Guevara credit for taking this fight when so many fighters won’t step into the ring with me,” Stevenson said. “He’s been in there with some great fighters, even world champions, but nothing can prepare him for me. No matter the opponent, I am going to put on a special performance for my hometown and everyone watching on ESPN on July 13.”
Guevara, on the other hand is not intimidated by the Olympic Silver medalist or his fans. He just simply wants to prove that he belongs amongst the best.
“When I was offered this fight, I did not hesitate. I want to fight the best, and Shakur Stevenson is a very good young fighter,” Guevara said. “The hometown crowd will not phase me. I’m coming to shock the boxing world.”
Shakur Stevenson finally has his opponent finalized. It may take an adjustment or two so that he can perform to the best of his ability, but make no mistake about it, he seems ready to put on a show.