Herring: ‘They called me every name in the book, but even with the cut, I wasn’t going to give up’

In the biggest fight of his career, Jamel Herring came up big and dominated and then stopped Carl Frampton in the sixth round to retain his WBO junior lightweight world title Saturday from Caesars Bluewaters Dubai.

The 35-year-old Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) dropped Frampton twice in the fight, the second one coming in the sixth round courtesy of a brutal uppercut. A follow-up assault prompted Frampton’s corner to throw in the towel, and with that, Herring gets his signature victory and his first stoppage win since May 2018.

“It was an emotional rollercoaster just to get here,” Herring said. “My last outing was not my best. People doubted me. They called me every name in the book, but even with the cut, I wasn’t going to give up. I wasn’t going to quit, and Carl Frampton is a tremendous champion. I’ve been a fan since day one. It’s tough to see any veteran of the sport go out like that.”

Frampton (28-3, 16 KOs), from Belfast, was attempting to become the first man from the island of Ireland to win world titles in three weight classes. Having fallen short of that goal, the 34-year-old elected to retire.

“I said before the fight I’d retire if I lost, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” Frampton said. “I want to just to dedicate my life to my family now. Boxing has been good to me. It’s also been bad to me, but the last few years with these boys have been the best years of my career. I just want to go home to my beautiful wife and kids, and that’s it.

“I just got beat by the better man. I really struggled to get inside on him.”

Will Frampton retire? Who knows. Boxers emotionally retire after fights all the time, so we’ll see what happens next. Regarding Herring, does he unify with WBC 130-pound champion Oscar Valdez, or will he battle WBO number one contender Shakur Stevenson? It should be interesting, but if you’re Herring, you want to unify, so Valdez, who is signed to Top Rank like Herring, and someone he called out after the fight, seems to be the obvious choice. 

Courtesy: D4G Promotions

Stevenson dominates Clary; Berlanga gets another first-round knockout

The sensational Shakur Stevenson played the role of headliner and shined. Stevenson, the former featherweight world champion, secured a 10-round unanimous decision over veteran Toka Kahn Clary in the junior lightweight main event Saturday from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.

Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs), the WBO No. 1 junior lightweight contender, has a title shot on his brain, but he nonetheless laid a beating on Clary (28-3, 19 KOs). The scorecards — 100-90 across the board — were a formality.

Up next, if he gets his wish, is a shot at the WBO junior lightweight world title.

“He knew how to survive. He came in there to survive, and that’s what he did,” Stevenson said. “I want the WBO belt first. The winner of {Carl} Frampton and {Jamel} Herring have to come see me. After that, we want {WBC world champion Miguel} Berchelt.”

Nakatani Shocks Verdejo

Trailing big on the scorecards, Masayoshi Nakatani came from behind and earned the most significant win of his career.

Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs) scored a pair of knockdowns in the ninth round to stop Puerto Rican star Felix Verdejo in the ninth round of a scheduled 10-round lightweight bout. Knocked down in the first and fourth rounds, Nakatani, in his first bout since a decision loss to Teofimo Lopez in July 2019, stormed back with a pair of knockdowns in the ninth to clinch the shocking stoppage.

Verdejo (27-2, 17 KOs) saw his four-bout winning streak come to an end, and at the time of the stoppage, he was leading on all three scorecards (78-72 2x and 77-74).

After the bout, a jubilant Nakatani set his sights on a rematch with Lopez, now the undisputed lightweight world champion.

“I fought Lopez, and I wanted to fight him again, and that’s why I kept going,” Nakatani said. “I want to go for the knockout like I did today, and that’s going to be my style.”

Berlanga’s Sweet 16

Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga did it again. The Brooklyn brawler knocked out Ulises Sierra in the first round, the 16th consecutive first-round knockout for the 23-year-old phenom. Sierra (15-2-2, 9 KOs), from San Diego, had never been knocked out as a professional, but he was cannon fodder. Berlanga knocked him down three times in the opening stanza, forcing referee Russell Mora to stop the bout at 2:40. 

Berlanga said, “{I want} rounds. The better competition, the better opposition we fight, I believe we’re going to get those rounds in. We ended 2020 with a bang. 2021 is a big year for us, and I’m looking forward to it.
 
“Tito Trinidad was my idol. He still is. Just being with him opened up my eyes as to what boxing is about, the dedication, the focus, leaving the streets and the bad people alone.”

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

Arum on Stevenson: ‘He is a future pound-for-pound superstar’

Shakur Stevenson and boxing came back with a bang on Wednesday night. The WBO featherweight world champion, who was making his super featherweight debut, knocked out Puerto Rican contender Felix Caraballo in the sixth round of a scheduled 10-rounder at MGM Grand Conference Center—Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas.

Stevenson showcased his talents in the first significant boxing card in the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

A body shot spelled the end for Caraballo (13-2-2, 9 KOs), who had won five in a row before tonight. For Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs), the sky remains the limit. 

Everything about this fight week was different. After my last fight was canceled, I was happy to showcase my skills for all of the boxing fans,” Stevenson said. “He hit me with a couple shots, more than I’m used to, a couple jabs here and there. He was a tough guy, but I felt great in there after my training camp in Houston.”

This was a nice tune-up for Stevenson. It was an opportunity to get in some rounds, and a chance to test himself at a new weight. According to his promoter, Bob Arum, the 22-year-old Stevenson has a very bright future.

“What a magnificent performance by Shakur Stevenson,” Arum said. “He keeps on getting better, and rest assured, he is a future pound-for-pound superstar.”

Stevenson is special, and based on what we have seen thus far in his career, he can be one of the best in the sport. It should be interesting to see if he goes back down to 126 or stays at 130. All that will probably depend on the opportunities that are out there.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing

Stevenson-Caraballo set for June 9; Magdaleno-Vicente set for June 11

It can all be summarized in three long-awaited words: boxing is back.

Top Rank on ESPN returns Tuesday, June 9, as WBO featherweight world champion Shakur Stevenson will take on Puerto Rican contender Felix “La Sombra” Caraballo in a 10-round super featherweight bout. Stevenson-Caraballo will kick off a blockbuster June boxing lineup, which will include multiple cards each week on the ESPN family of networks. Specifics on ESPN platforms and tune-in times to be announced soon.

Stevenson-Caraballo will be the first of multiple June events to take place at the MGM Grand Conference Center Grand Ballroom. The action will continue Thursday, June 11 when former junior featherweight world champion and top featherweight contender Jessie Magdaleno faces Dominican puncher Yenifel Vicente in a 10-rounder.

These events will be closed to both the public and the media, as only essential fight camp members and event staff will be permitted on site.

“I would like to thank MGM Resorts and the Nevada State Athletic Commission for their assistance in helping to bring back world-class boxing,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We are all looking forward to a spectacular summer of live boxing across ESPN platforms. Shakur is among the best young talents I’ve ever promoted, and he is going to put on a show on June 9.”

ESPN’s Top Rank play-by-play commentator, Joe Tessitore, will be calling the action from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios.  Andre Ward (analyst), former #1 pound-for-pound two-division world titleholder and 2004 Olympic gold medalist, Tim Bradley (analyst), former two-division world titleholder and boxing insider Mark Kriegel, will join from their home studios. Boxing reporter Bernardo Osuna will be on-location in Las Vegas.

June 9
MGM Grand Conference Center Grand Ballroom
Main Event
Shakur Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs) vs. Felix Caraballo (13-1-2, 9 KOs)
10 rounds, Super Featherweight

2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Stevenson, the pride of Newark, New Jersey, is testing the waters at super featherweight following his featherweight title-winning effort over Joet Gonzalez last October. He went 4-0 in 2019, flashing the skills and athleticism that have many experts pegging him as a future pound-for-pound superstar. Caraballo has won five fights in a row and will be fighting for the first time away from Puerto Rico.

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and return live boxing to ESPN,” Stevenson said. “I was really disappointed when my fight got canceled in March, and I said then that I wanted to be one of the first fights back. I stayed in shape so when that call came, I was ready. The atmosphere might be different on June 9, but I’ve fought in unique situations all over the world before so it won’t affect me. Regardless of who’s in the building, you’ll see another great performance, and I’ll remind everyone why I’m the best young fighter in boxing.”

Co-Feature
Mikaela Mayer (12-0, 5 KOs) vs. Helen Joseph (17-4-2, 10 KOs)
10 rounds, Super Featherweight

Mayer, Stevenson’s 2016 Olympic teammate, has in short order become one of the faces of female boxing. The Los Angeles native is on track for a world title shot this year, but she must first defeat Joseph, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, who is coming off a competitive decision loss to former lightweight queen Delfine Persoon.

“I’m incredibly grateful and excited to be fighting on the first boxing card since the pandemic shutdown,” Mayer said. “I was set to travel to New York City for a fight March 17, but the quarantine went into effect the day before I was supposed to fly out. So, despite having a long, hard 10-week camp, I was unable to perform and showcase the work I had put in. I feel like I’ve leveled up my skill set, and I’m eager to show that on June 9 and capture my 13th win. It’s also great to see ESPN and Top Rank having a woman headline their first card back. I have been in camp with Shakur, and we’re ready to bring boxing back to television with exciting wins.”

Undercard

Undefeated heavyweight knockout artists Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (3-0, 3 KOs), from Toledo, Ohio, will face Johnnie Langston (8-2, 3 KOs) in a six-rounder. Anderson recently served as Tyson Fury’s chief sparring partner for the Deontay Wilder rematch.

Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (6-0, 6 KOs), a 2016 Italian Olympian, will fight Don Haynesworth (16-3-1, 14 KOs) in a six-rounder at heavyweight.

Robeisy Ramirez (2-1, 2 KOs), the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba who bested Stevenson in the 2016 gold medal match, will seek his third straight win as a pro in a six-round featherweight bout against Yeuri Andujar (5-3, 3 KOs).

In a middleweight tilt set for six or four rounds, Calvin Metcalf (10-3-1, 3 KOs) will face Atlanta native Quatavious Cash (11-2, 7 KOs).

June 11
MGM Grand Conference Center Grand Ballroom
Main Event
Jessie Magdaleno (27-1, 18 KOs) vs. Yenifel Vicente (36-4-2, 28 KOs)
10 rounds, Featherweight

Top-ranked featherweight contender Magdaleno has defeated veterans Rafael Rivera and Rico Ramos since moving up from the junior featherweight ranks. The Las Vegas native will be fighting in his hometown for the first time since he dethroned four-weight kingpin Nonito Donaire in November 2016. Vicente, the author of numerous highlight-reel knockouts, is 11-1 with 11 knockouts in his last 12 fights.

“It feels great to be one of the first fighters back,” Magdaleno said. “I’m excited to get back in the ring, especially after my last fight was canceled. I didn’t get discouraged. I am even more ready now. I can’t wait to showcase my talent to the ESPN audience. What better way to show that the champ is back?”

Co-Feature
Adam Lopez (13-2, 6 KOs) vs. Louie Coria (12-2, 7 KOs)
10 rounds, vacant NABF Featherweight title

Lopez, a native of Glendale, California, is back following his seesaw throwdown against Oscar Valdez last November, a bout he took on a day’s notice after Valdez’s original opponent missed weight. Despite a 3.5-pound weight disadvantage, he knocked down Valdez in the second round before being stopped in the seventh. The “Glendale Gatti” will have a tough task in Coria, a Robert Garcia-trained fighter who has won three straight since a split decision loss at super featherweight.

“I will put a show on for all the fight fans around the world and show them what I’m made of,” Lopez said. “The Valdez fight was an incredible experience. I’m ready to get what’s left of 2020 going and move toward a title shot.  The whole team is working hard and preparing well. Tune in. I’m going to put on a show.”

Undercard

Bryan Lua (5-0, 2 KOs), from California’s Central Valley, will return following a more than two-year layoff against Dan Murray (5-3, 0 KOs) in a six-rounder at lightweight.

Bantamweight prospect Gabriel Muratalla (2-0, 2 KOs) will make his 2020 debut in a four-rounder versus Fernando Robles (2-2, 0 KOs).

In a battle of unbeaten California-based lightweights scheduled for six or four rounds, Eric Mondragon (3-0, 2 KOs) will face Mike Sanchez (6-0, 2 KOs).

Stevenson-Marriaga, Conlan-Preciado postponed

Here is a statement from Top Rank Boxing on the postponement of Stevenson-Marriaga and Conlan-Preciado:

“After close consultation with the New York State Athletic Commission, it has been determined that Saturday’s and Tuesday’s events cannot proceed in light of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. Top Rank will work with the Commission to reschedule the events as soon as it is safe for all involved. 

“The health and safety of the fighters and their teams, and everyone involved in the promotion of these events, necessitated taking this step.

“We thank everyone for their understanding, and we will continue to work with our broadcast/venue partners and state and local officials to decide when the time is right to return.”

Stevenson on fight with Marriaga: ‘I wanted a strong opponent for my first title defense’

WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson(13-0, 7 KOs) will make his first title defense against Miguel Marriaga(29-3, 25 KOs) on March 14 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The 22-year-old Stevenson will not have an easy night with the always tough Marriaga, who is currently on a four-fight win streak, which all ended in knockouts. However, according to Stevenson, fighting Marriaga is something he wanted to do for a long time.

“We’ve been trying to make this fight with Miguel Marriaga for a long time now,” Stevenson said. “I wanted a strong opponent for my first title defense. He’s been in the ring with multiple world champions, and I am ready to prove that I am the best featherweight in the world.

“This is my fourth fight at Madison Square Garden, but my first as a world champion, and it will be my best performance yet. I know all of my East Coast fans will come out and support on March 14.”

In terms of experience, that is definitely on the side of the 33-year-old Marriaga, who has battled but lost to top opposition such as Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oscar Valdez, and Nicholas Walters.

And like Stevenson, Marriaga is looking forward to this matchup.

“I always wanted this fight, and the time is right now that he’s a world champion,” Marriaga said. “He speaks often about how people are ducking him, but here I am. Colombia will have a new world champion March 14.”

Stevenson, who captured his first world title back in October when he defeated Joet Gonzalez, could have gone the easy route in his first defense, but it’s clear, he wants tough opposition. We all know that Stevenson has all the talent in the world and has the potential to be a pound-for-pound best in the sport.

After 13 fights we know some things about Stevenson, but after March 14, we will find out even more.

The Stevenson-Marriaga co-feature will see former junior featherweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno fight the unbeaten Sakaria Lukas in a 10-round featherweight showdown. Stevenson-Marriaga and Magdaleno-Lukas will be televised LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

Stevenson: ‘I want to unify titles’

Shakur Stevenson is a world champion. The former Olympic medalist displayed all his boxing skills and completely neutralized Joet Gonzalez (his girlfriend’s brother) to conquer the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight title in front of 2,828 fans at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

This was a grudge match, but Stevenson was able to dominate the fight.

With the victory, Stevenson became the first Team USA male fighter of the 2016 Rio Olympics to conquer a world title.

“This is a great feeling. One of the best feelings of my life,” said Stevenson. “I have a lot of respect for Joet. He is a great fighter. I have nothing against him. If he decides to be cool with me, I’ll be cool with him.”

Stevenson already knows what he wants the next challenge in his career to be.

“Josh Warrington! You are a champion, now I am a champion. Let’s do this! I want to unify titles.”

Photo: Top Rank/Mikey Williams

Stevenson-Gonzalez, Berchelt-Sosa, Herring-Roach Jr. highlight Top Rank’s Fall Schedule

Three world title bouts and a highly anticipated light heavyweight unification fight are on the docket for Top Rank’s fall schedule, which will be unveiled TODAY at 12 p.m. PT at a special kickoff press conference at the MGM Grand’s KA Theatre.

The fall schedule will kick off October 18 with the previously announced light heavyweight unification bout between IBF champion Artur Beterbiev and WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET). The entire undercard will stream on ESPN+ starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

“This is a tremendous lineup of fights that Top Rank is bringing to ESPN and ESPN+ in the fall,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “You have young superstars and established champions in the toughest fights of their careers. It doesn’t get better than that. When it’s all said and done, new superstars are going to emerge.”

October 26: Stevenson and Gonzalez to Battle for Featherweight World Title

Shakur Stevenson is only 22 years old and 12 fights into his pro career. For his first world title shot, he’ll return to the sight of many of his greatest amateur accomplishments. Stevenson will face Joet Gonzalez for the vacant WBO featherweight title Saturday, October 26 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada.

Stevenson and Gonzalez are the WBO’s top two contenders for the belt vacated by Oscar Valdez, who is now campaigning at 130 pounds.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Let’s Get It On Promotions and Golden Boy, Stevenson-Gonzalez and a co-feature will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The entire undercard will stream on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

“I have been working for this moment my entire life, and no one is going to stop me from becoming a world champion,” Stevenson said. “I had some of my biggest amateur moments in Reno, and I can’t wait to win my first world title there. This is my time to show the world that I am the best young fighter in boxing. The Shakur Stevenson era will officially begin on October 26.”

“It’s about time I got my world title shot,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve been asking for this opportunity for a long time. Thanks to my promoter and manager, it is finally here. Shakur Stevenson has done a lot of talking. But I’ll do my talking in the ring with my fists on October 26.”

Stevenson (12-0, 7 KOs), the fighting pride of Newark, New Jersey, turned pro in April 2017 following a standout amateur career that included a 2016 Olympic silver medal for the United States. He is familiar with Reno, having won four national titles in “The Biggest Little City in the World” from 2013-2015, including his triumph at the Olympic Trials. Stevenson returned to Reno as a pro, shutting out Juan Tapia over eight rounds in February 2018 to improve to 5-0. He has fought three times thus far in 2019, including a career-best performance April 20 against former world title challenger Christopher Diaz on the Terence Crawford-Amir Khan pay-per-view undercard. He followed up the unanimous decision over Diaz with a triumphant return to Newark, where more than 5,000 fans packed the Prudential Center for his third-round stoppage over Alberto Guevara.

Gonzalez (23-0, 14 KOs) is a seven-year pro who has the edge in experience, and at 25 years old, is three years older than Stevenson. Like Stevenson, he had a storied amateur career, nearly qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics and winning a U.S. Junior Olympics title. Gonzalez has won three consecutive bouts by knockout since a split decision victory over former world title challenger Rafael Rivera. He last fought July 13 in Carson, California, capturing the WBO Global and WBA Continental America featherweight titles with a sixth-round stoppage over Manuel Avila. Immediately following the Avila bout, he expressed interest in fighting in Stevenson, and the two have since been engaged in a social media back-and-forth. The talking will stop — and the fight will start — on October 26.

November 2: Miguel Berchelt Set to Defend Super Featherweight World Title Versus Jason Sosa

WBC super featherweight world champion Miguel Berchelt will defend his world title for the sixth time against former world champion Jason Sosa in a can’t-miss battle Saturday, November 2 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Berchelt, who has won four in a row by stoppage, is the division’s longest-reigning world champion and is ranked No. 1 by both ESPN.com and Ring Magazine.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions and Peltz Boxing, Berchelt-Sosa and a world title co-feature will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. The undercard will stream on ESPN+ starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

“On November 2, there will be another classic war between a Mexican and a Puerto Rican warrior,” Berchelt said. “I will prove once again that I am the best and most spectacular super featherweight in the world. This title ain’t going anywhere.”

“I can’t express how happy and grateful I am to Top Rank and Russell Peltz for once again working together to give me another shot at becoming world champion,” Sosa said. “I am training harder than ever. I want this so bad, and I am not going to let anything stop what God has planned for me. We are incredibly focused knowing the importance of this fight. Berchelt is a strong opponent, and we are not taking his talents lightly. We both throw a lot of punches so expect an action-packed fight that will be the next chapter in the Mexico versus Puerto Rico rivalry. It’s a rivalry that’s been ongoing for years, and I plan on making my island very proud. On November 2, I plan on becoming a two-time world champion.”

Berchelt (36-1, 32 KOs) has reigned as WBC super featherweight king since January 28, 2017, the evening he dethroned Francisco Vargas via 11th-round knockout in a Fight of the Year contender. He has maintained his reputation as an all-action star, besting Miguel Roman and Takashi Miura in dominant title defenses. He last fought May 11 in Tucson, Arizona, battering Vargas in their rematch until Vargas retired on his stool following the sixth round. A native of Cancun, Mexico, Berchelt has won 15 consecutive bouts and hopes a win over Sosa will move him closer to a world title unification bout.

Sosa (23-3-4, 16 KOs), from Camden, New Jersey, is in the midst of a career revitalization following a two-bout skid in 2017. Sosa has reeled off three consecutive wins since a controversial decision loss to Yuriorkis Gamboa in November 2017, and he is now ranked in the top 10 by two of the major sanctioning organizations. He last fought August 10 in Philadelphia, knocking out Lydell Rhodes in seven rounds to earn his shot at the title.

November 9: Jamel Herring Set for Ballpark Title Defense Versus Lamont Roach Jr. in Fresno

Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring, the U.S. Marine veteran who upset Masayuki Ito in on Memorial Day weekend to win the WBO junior lightweight title, is set to honor his comrades by returning on Veterans Day weekend.

Herring will make his first title defense against the undefeated Lamont Roach Jr. on Saturday, November 9 at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, home of the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. This is a return engagement for Herring, who fought at Fresno’s Save Mart Center last September and had more than 1,000 active, retired and aspiring service members in the crowd cheering him on.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Golden Boy, Herring-Roach and a co-feature will stream live beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on ESPN+. The undercard will stream on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

“Our camps have gone back and forth, and I’m just ready to get to work,” Herring said. “I have a great team, and Terence Crawford will also be in camp to make sure I’m at my best. Overall, the night means much more than trash-talking, since it’s the weekend of both Veterans Day and the Marine Corps birthday.

“I’m glad to be back in Fresno. I had a huge crowd supporting me last time I fought in the area. I know a victory here will lead to bigger and better things.”

“I know Jamel very well and he knows me,” Roach Jr. said. “I’m super excited, and I’ve been waiting for this moment my entire life. This victory will be only the beginning of my legacy. I’m here for a reason, and I can’t wait to show the world why! I will be the WBO junior lightweight world champion on November 9.”

Herring (20-2, 10 KOs) served two tours of duty with the Marines in Iraq and captained the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team. His pro career stalled with a 1-2 skid from 2016-2017, but after signing with Top Rank and moving down to 130 pounds, he won three straight fights to earn the title shot against Ito. His September 2018 fight against John Vincent Moralde was a particularly special occasion, as dozens of Marines lined the Save Mart Center walkway as Herring made his entrance. He shut out Moralde as the ESPN-televised co-feature, and now he returns to California’s Central Valley ready to put on a clinic under the lights.

Roach (19-0-1, 7 KOs) is one of the best young fighters to emerge from the boxing hotbed of Washington, D.C. in recent years. His only hiccup as a pro — an April 2018 draw against Orlando Cruz in Cruz’s home country of Puerto Rico — was a minor speed bump in what has been an otherwise sterling run up the ranks. He is 3-0 since the Cruz fight, winning a pair of regional belts and putting forth his best performances on high-profile cards. He last fought May 4 on the Canelo Alvarez-Danny Jacobs undercard in Las Vegas, scoring a 10-round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Jonathan Oquendo. Roach is trained by his father, Lamont Roach Sr., who has been the head man in his corner for his past five bouts.

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).