WBO Featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson was disappointed when he was told the news of the cancelation of his March 14th, contest against Miguel Marriaga. He became the first notable fighter that was forced to take a standing eight count due to COVID-19. Now, nearly three months later, he’s set to become the first noteworthy fighter to make their return to the ring.
Stevenson’s dance partner on the night is the unheralded Felix Caraballo. On paper, Stevenson would appear to have the edge in virtually every category. He’s fought the better opposition, shown the better boxing skills throughout his career and is touted as quite possibly a better fighter than the 50-0, Floyd Mayweather. At least according to promoter Bob Arum.
Caraballo will not only have to deal with the physical disadvantages, but also an unfamiliar setting. For the six year veteran, this will be his first fight outside of his native land of Puerto Rico as this contest is set to take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
To make matters worse if Caraballo is able to pull off the massive upset, the win won’t award him with the WBO Featherweight title as this contest is set to take place at 130 pounds.
By all accounts, Stevenson will have the spotlight primarily shining upon him on the night. But in the case of Caraballo, without fans in attendance, the pressure will be taken off his shoulders without the rabid fanbase of Stevenson’s in the crowd.
Even with the star power that Stevenson has shown in the early part of his career, the co main event on the night was set to steal the show. Featherweight prospect Mikaela Mayer and the always durable contender Helen Joseph were set to take things to another level on the night. Unfortunately for Mayer however, she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and has been forced off the card entirely.
Still, even with some of the appeal stripped away from the event due to Mayer’s positive test, Stevenson will have the opportunity to have the entire sport of boxing fixated on his event tomorrow night. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
By: Hans Themistode
Things felt a bit different during the weigh-ins for Shakur Stevenson’s contest against Felix Caraballo. There were no screaming fans in attendance, nor were there several media members ready to bombard the fighters with nonstop questions. No, it was simply Stevenson, his opponent and a few select personnel at today’s weigh-ins.
Caraballo (13-1-2, 9 KOs) was the first to step on to the scale. He walked onto the stage wearing a mask and protective covering for his sneakers as to not make full contact with the scale. The contracted weight between them was 130 pounds, although Stevenson holds the WBO title at 126 pounds. Even with the extra four pounds though, Caraballo still managed to miss weight, coming in at 130.5. He attempted to step back onto the scale a second time but there was no change in weight.
As for Stevenson, he had a few issues with weight of his own. At least initially. Bob Bennet, of the Nevada State Athletic Commission yelled out 130.2 pounds, a number that Stevenson was incredulous to. He immediately stripped off his socks and jumped back onto the scale. This time, he came in at 130 pounds even.
From there, fighters normally pose next to one another for pictures, before facing off. This time around however, things were a bit different. Both fighters flashed their physique and smiled, but they made sure to keep their distance.
The customary face off’s in which fighters are given the opportunity to either intimidate or size up their opponents one final time before fight night was nonexistent. Instead, they simply walked in opposite directions of one another as if to say they are fully prepared for their contest.
As for the rest of the card, the results of their weigh-ins were as followed.
Jared Anderson 236. 5 pounds (3-0, 3 KOs) vs Johnnie Langston 218 pounds (8-2, 3 KOs)
Guido Vianello 239 pounds (6-0, 6 KOs) vs Don Haynesworth 294.5 pounds (16-3-1, 14 KOs)
Robeisy Ramirez 126 pounds (2-1, 2 KOs) vs Year Andujar 125.5 pounds (5-3, 3 KOs)
Calvin Metcalf 158.3 pounds (10-3-1 3 KOs) Quatavious Cash 160.5 pounds (11-2, 7 KOs)