Shakur Stevenson is destined for “greatness” and has elevated himself to a “different category,” says his promoter Bob Arum, who wants to set him up against Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez.
Stevenson became a world heavyweight champion at the age of 24 by controlling Jamal Hering on and off to claim the WBO Super Featherweight Championship in an astonishing performance.
Valdez, who holds the WBC belt in the same division, recalled, “He can’t keep dodging! It’s time for a fight! I vs Oscar, there’s nothing else to look forward to.”
Top Rank’s Arum, who promotes both, told Sky Sports: “We can suggest that to the fighters. But in the end, it’s the fighters and their management who decide who gets to fight next.
“I want Valdez to fight Emmanuel Navarrete, and maybe Shakur match against Berchelt, whom Valdes beat in a fantastic fight.
“We’ll see how Shakur performed with Berchelt, then we can match the winners.
“I think that’s the way to go. That’s what we’re going to suggest to them.”
“I hope Shakur returns to the ring in March or April. Same with Valdez and Navarrete.”
Emmanuel Navarrete is the world welterweight champion who will move to the third division to fight fellow Mexican Valdez, should that fight happen.
Berchelt, also from Mexico, held the WBC super featherweight title until he was furiously knocked out by Valdez.
Arum believes Stephenson’s recent win, which added strength to his undoubted skill, should put the entire sport on alert.
He said: “We have always known, as everyone knows, that Shakur was an amazing talent.
“But being a talent is one thing, and another is to take that talent and become a crowd-pleasing fighter.
Shakur understands that now.
“It was a great performance against a very skilled man at Herring.
Shakur, unlike his previous performances, did not go out, win a few rounds, and then qualify for victory.
He came out to defeat his opponent decisively.
“This puts it in a completely different category than it was before.
“I see this as the opening act of Shakur Stevenson. We’ll see the greatness in the years to come.”
Asked about Stevenson’s success, Arum said: “Shakur will go down in the annals among boxing superstars.
It’s a ridiculous argument to say: ‘Will he beat Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez? “
“What does that mean? Nothing. They will never fight. They are in different weight classes.
Will he outsmart Tyson Fury?
“I just want him to be a star. We have a lot of stars at number one – Teofimo Lopez could be one of them, Vasily Lomachenko is a star, Josh Taylor is a star.”
Sky sports boxing schedule
October 31 – highest ranking in New York
Jose Zepeda vs Jose Vargas
November 6 – Top ranked in Las Vegas
Michaela Mayer vs. Maeva Hamdoush – IBF Super Featherweight Titles
November 6 – BOXXER in Liverpool
Ultra Lightweight Championship
November 20 – BOXXER in London
Richard Ryakborough vs. Olanriwago Dorodola
Caroline Dubois’ professional debut
November 20 – Top ranked in Las Vegas
Terence Crawford vs. Sean Porter – WBO Welterweight Championship
December 11 – Boxer
Clarissa Shields vs. Emma Cusin
December 11 – highest ranking in Las Vegas
Vasily Lomachenko vs. Richard Comey
December 17 – highest ranking in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne – Lightweight IBF and WBC titles
February 26 – highest ranking in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs. Jack Caterall – The Undisputed Ultra Lightweight Title