Shakur Stevenson edging closer and closer to title shot
By Bill Tibbs
Newark, New Jersey native Shakur Stevenson (11-0, 6 KO’s) is undefeated, heading towards a world title shot and is home in the Garden State to show Brick City fight fans what all the fuss is about.
Stevenson, a 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, has worked his way into the WBO No. 1 featherweight contender position but will be facing a tough test from experienced Mexican Alberto Guevara (27-4, 12 KO’s) in the 10-round main event Saturday, July 13 at Prudential Center.
The co-feature will see fast-rising bantamweight contender Joshua Greer Jr. going up against Nikolai Potapov in an IBF eliminator for a No. 2 ranking.
Stevenson - Guevara and Greer-Potapov will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
Stevenson, 21, has been putting featherweights on notice virtually since his debut in the spring of 2017. Since turning pro he has been perfect in 11 outings and is looking to impress the local faithful in fight # 12.
Stevenson returned from the Rio Olympics in 2016 and was about as hot a prospect as there was at the time. Since then, he has delivered time and again and is now inching towards a title shot. He is coming into the fight off of his biggest win to date having beaten vastly experienced, former world title challenger Christopher Diaz on the Terence Crawford-Amir Khan card in New York in April.
Guevara certainly brings big league experience to the fight having been in the ring 31 times as a pro and twice in world title shots. While he came up short in those fights, he knows a win against Stevenson puts him right back in line for some bigger bouts.
While Stevenson is only 11 fights into his career, the way he is progressing one gets the impression that Stevenson will be challenging for a world title when the right bout comes along, perhaps within the next 18-months.
While Stevenson has fought all around the tri-state area since his pro debut, he hasn’t fought in his hometown since his amateur days. In pre-fight interviews it was clear that he is very excited to be fighting at home and he will be looking to impress.
“Newark, I’m coming home! I’ve wanted to fight at Prudential Center since my pro debut, and the time has finally come,” Stevenson said. “I haven’t fought in Newark in over four years, and I promise it will be worth the wait. On July 13, I’m going to show the ESPN audience what Brick City is all about. This is my first main event, and my hometown fans are going to see the best Shakur Stevenson yet.”
Stevenson has seen opponents change a couple of times for this fight, not uncommon in boxing, but either way it makes no difference to him, he’s just ready to get Jersey jumping with a thrilling performance.
“It doesn’t matter who I fight,” said Stevenson, “I am ready to put on a show for my hometown. Newark is going to be out in full force, and I know a victory on July will move me closer to a world title shot, which is my ultimate goal.”