Stevenson ‘retired’ after failing to get the Emanuel Navarrete fight for the vacant WBO Lightweight Title. The WBO ordered the Mexican to face Denys Berinchyk, which prevented Shakur from unifying. Stevenson was already under fire for his below-par defensive performance against Edwin De Los Santos despite winning the WBC Lightweight Title.
A fight against Vasily Lomachenko was also off the table. Shakur was on course to fight the Ukrainian last year for the then-vacant WBC belt, but Loma took the year off after losing to Devin Haney in a controversial decision. Loma will now take on George Kambosos Jr. for the vacant IBF title. Stevenson’s frustration was understandable, but Arum expected him to return, with possible fights at 140.
“I hope that I’ll be able to talk a lot of sense to Shakur because he is, believe me, a major talent. He made a mistake. He corrected it. Leave him alone. He’s coming to the fight on Thursday, and I’ll have plenty of time to speak with him privately. “We’d love that [fights at 140]. The question is, do they want to fight him?” Arum said
Shakur’s possible opponents at 140 include Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez. Stevenson has one bout left with Top Rank, meaning he could get the Haney fight by going to DAZN. The other option would be to stay with Top Rank and face Lopez, who is also with Arum. Those fights offer Stevenson the WBC and WBO belts at 140, respectively, making it a logical step.