Stevenson: ‘Me and Devin {Haney}, we could lock-in’

Former unified junior lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson(WBC/WBO) dominated the 130-pound division, but all good things must come to an end. While Stevenson has never lost to an opponent, he did lose to the scale as he could not make 130 pounds during Thursday’s weigh-in, and the titles were vacated.

However, the fight went on, and in front of a record crowd of 10,107 partisan fans, the largest crowd ever to attend a boxing event at Prudential Center, Stevenson dropped and dominated Robson Conceição for 12 rounds and won by unanimous decision. 

The Newark native won by scores of 117-109(2x) and 118-108.

Stevenson(19-0, 9 KOs) made it his business to go to the body, and he landed a career-high 75 body shots, including a body shot knockdown in the fourth. Overall, Stevenson landed a career-high 199 punches. It was an easy night for the former unified champion. He did lose a point in the ninth round for throwing down Conceicao(17-2, 8 KOs), which really was the only drama Stevenson dealt with all night, but now it’s time for bigger and better as he is going up to 135 pounds. 

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 23: Robson Conceição (L) and Shakur Stevenson (R) exchange punches during their WBC and WBO junior lightweight championship fight at Prudential Center on September 23, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

After the fight, Stevenson, who was 1.6 pounds overweight, discussed how hard it was for him to make weight this week. 

“I had a long week,” he said. “I killed myself to make weight. All I want to do is come in here and perform. I did everything I could to do that,” Stevenson said. “I’m just a dominating individual. With me versus him, the ref, I did everything I could to try and beat {Conceicao} up as much as I could. He held me the whole night, but I did everything I could.”

Two things are clear, Stevenson is definitely a draw in Newark, and he will be tough to beat for anybody at 135.

“We gotta fight the champ,’ he said. “Me and Devin {Haney}, we could lock-in. After he fights Kambosos, let’s get it on! ‘ll fight (Vasiliy) Lomachenko, too!” 

Those fights can be made, especially Loma, who returns on October 29 against Jamaine Ortiz. Regarding the king of the 135-pound division, Haney, he’s a bigger lightweight, so if he beats Kambosos, who knows how long he’ll stay at 135, but if it happens, it’s a great fight. 

Again, it’s hard to imagine anyone beating Stevenson at this point. He just knows how to win rounds, but those guys he called out won’t be easy nights.

Photos: Stevenson, Conceição interacting with fans in Newark

WBC/WBO/Ring Magazine junior lightweight world champion Shakur Stevenson has never fought at home as a world champion. The six letters on the front of his trunks — Newark — represents his past and immediate future.

Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs), a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, will defend his belts against Brazilian Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceição (17-1, 8 KOs) on Friday evening at Prudential Center. He has fought at Prudential Center once before. In July 2019, he stopped Alberto Guevara in his last fight before winning the WBO featherweight world title that October.

A world championship homecoming, though, feels a little different. Stevenson kicked off fight week Tuesday afternoon at Boylan Street Recreation Center, where he met several dozen local children and was greeted by Councilwoman LaMonica McIver and other politicians from Newark and the surrounding areas. Stevenson trained at Boylan as a youngster and always makes a point to return to his roots.

Photos/Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images:

Earlier that day, Conceição received a hero’s welcome at Mantena Global Care, a Newark-based nonprofit that serves the Latino community in the city. Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood is home to one of the nation’s largest Brazilian populations. Many local dignitaries, including East Ward Council Member Michael J. Silva, were on hand to support Conceição.

“I knew that Newark had a large Brazilian population, but I am humbled by the reception I have received today,” Conceição said. “I fight for my country, and I will go out there Friday night to win these titles for my people.”

Weights/Photos: Stevenson vs. Guevara

Shakur Stevenson(11-0, 6 KOs) is ready for his homecoming! Today, Stevenson made weight coming in at the weight limit of 126 pounds on the nose, while his opponent Alberto Guevara weighed in at 125.4 pounds. The Newark-native will face Guevara (27-4, 12 KOs) in the 10-round main event Saturday evening at Prudential Center (ESPN, 10:30 p.m. ET). In the televised co-feature, bantamweight contender and proud Chicago native Joshua Greer Jr. (20-1-1, 12 KOs) will look to make it eight knockouts in a row versus Nikolai Potapov (20-1-1, 11 KOs).

Here are photos and weights from today’s weigh-in

Shakur Stevenson 126 lbs vs. Alberto Guevara 125.4 lbs
(Stevenson’s NABO featherweight title – 10 Rounds)

Joshua Greer Jr. 117.4 lbs vs. Nikolai Potapov 117.4 lbs
(IBF bantamweight eliminator for No. 2 ranking  – 12 Rounds)

ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET)

 Josue Vargas 141.8 lbs vs. Manuel Lopez 142.4 lbs
(Welterweight – 8 Rounds)

Vito Mielnicki Jr. 146 lbs vs. Tamarcus Smith 139 lbs
(Welterweight – 4 Rounds)

John Bauza 138.2 lbs vs. Angel Sarinana 137 lbs
(Super Lightweight – 8 Rounds) 

 Julian Rodriguez 140.8 lbs vs. Hevinson Herrera 140 lbs
(Super Lightweight – 6 Rounds)

Vijender Singh 169 lbs vs. Mike Snider 168.6 lbs
(Super Middleweight – 8 Rounds)

 Joseph Adorno 134.8 lbs Adriano Ramirez 134.4 lbs
(Lightweight – 8 Rounds)

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Photos: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Stevenson gets another new opponent for July 13

Eight days before his homecoming at Prudential Center, top featherweight contender Shakur Stevenson has a new opponent. Former world title challenger Franklin Manzanilla dropped out of the bout, and two-time world title challenger Alberto “Metro” Guevara will face Stevenson in the 10-round main event.

Manzanilla replaced original opponent Hairon Socarras, who dropped out of the fight, but now it is Guevara who will battle Stevenson on July 13.

Stevenson-Guevara and the 12-round IBF bantamweight eliminator for the No. 2 ranking featuring Joshua Greer Jr. and Nikolai Potapov will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

The entire undercard will stream live on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service  — starting at 7 p.m. ET.

“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.”

“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.”

Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs), the WBO No. 1 contender, returned from the 2016 Rio Olympics as one of the sport’s most highly touted prospects. He graduated from prospect to contender status in 2018, knocking out longtime contender Viorel Simion in one round as the ESPN-televised co-feature to the Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez Jr. fight in Omaha, Nebraska. Stevenson shined on the Crawford-Amir Khan pay-per-view undercard April 20 at Madison Square Garden, dominating former world title challenger Christopher Diaz over 10 rounds.

Guevara (27-4, 12, KOs), from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, turned pro in November 2009 and has twice challenged for a bantamweight world title, dropping a competitive decision to Leo Santa Cruz in December 2012 and getting knocked out in nine rounds by Japanese standout Shinsuke Yamanaka in November 2013. He is 9-2 with six knockouts since the Yamanaka defeat, with those losses coming against a former world champion (Hugo Ruiz) and a fighter who would go on to capture a world title (Emmanuel Rodriguez).