By: Hans Themistode
It appears as though Shakur Stevenson is on the verge of getting exactly what he wants. He’ll just have to wait slightly longer than he would like.
Just a few short weeks ago, the former 2016 Olympic silver medalist truncated the title reign of former WBO 130 pound champion, Jamel Herring. Stevenson picked his man apart in front of a crowd of just over 5,000 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Once Stevenson ripped away Herring’s title and wrapped it around his 24-year-old waist, he immediately turned his attention to WBC belt holder, Oscar Valdez. For months now, Stevenson has wanted to snag away both Valdez’s title and his perfect record. But while the two-division titlist was hoping to face him next, promoter Bob Arum has other ideas.
“I want Valdez to fight Emanuel Navarrete,” said Arum during an interview with SkySports. “And to match Shakur against maybe [Miguel] Berchelt, who Valdez beat in a spectacular fight. We’d see how Shakur does with Berchelt, then we can match the winners.”
As previously mentioned by Arum, Berchelt was last seen in the ring suffering the most lopsided loss of his career. On February 20th, at the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas, Nevada, Berchelt squared off against Valdez in an all-Mexican showdown. By and large, Berchelt was expected to retain his WBC title. With that said, Valdez would put on a career-best performance, dropping Berchelt a four total of times before picking up a tenth-round stoppage victory.
Berchelt has since hinted at the idea of moving up in weight but at the moment, still competes at 130 pounds. While Stevenson has pushed back at the thought of facing anyone other than Valdez next, Arum is hoping to change his mind.
Long before Stevenson snagged his second world title in as many weight classes, the long-time promoter has been intrigued by the idea of having Valdez take on Navarrete.
Presently, the 126-pound champion would be forced to move up to 130 pounds in order to face Valdez. The come-forward Mexican recently fought a fight of the year contender against Joet Gonzalez, winning a close unanimous decision.
In the terms of when Arum plans on putting together this mini 130-pound tournament, the first quarter of 2022 seems like the logical answer.
“I think that’s the way to go. That’s what we will suggest to them. I hope to have Shakur back in the ring in March or April. Same thing with Valdez and Navarrete.”
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