Exclusive Interview: Shakur Stevenson Vs. Shuichiro Yoshino Pre-Fight Presser

On April 8th, 2023, Shakur Stevenson will square off against Shuichiro Yoshino at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Stevenson, who has a record of 19 wins and 9 knockouts with no losses, will be looking for a statement win in what marks his debut in the 135 lb division as the pair geared up for the pre-fight presser.

The former featherweight and junior lightweight champ knows that a dominant performance will put him in the conversation to face some of the biggest names in the division, including Vasiliy Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis.

Standing in his way is Japanese fighter Yoshino. He has an equally impressive resume with a record of 16 wins and 12 knockouts with no defeats.

Ranked at number four by the WBC, Yoshino knows that he could throw a massive curveball with victory on Saturday night.

The co-main event will feature a heavyweight bout between Jared Anderson (13-0, 13 KOs) and George Arias (18-0, 7 KOs).

Meanwhile, Anthony Yigit (26-2-1, 10 KOs) will face rising star Keyshawn Davis (7-0, 5 KOs) in a lightweight fight to start the main card.

Exclusive Interview

Stevenson appeared self-assured and imposing, while Yoshino was timid and reserved which may have been partly due to the latter communicating via a translator.

With that being said, this is what Stevenson and Yoshino had to say during an exclusive interview with FIGHTSPORTS.


On his debut in the 135 division: “I’m trying to make a statement to let the 135 division know that I’m here.

On his next opponent: “I don’t really know [if I want Davis, Garcia, Loma, or Haney next]. I can’t give you an answer.

“The business side of me, I say Tank or Ryan. The champion side of me, I say Devin and Loma. I want Devin to win [over Loma] and Tank to win [over Garcia].

His aims: “I wanna accomplish beating Yashino. That is the most important thing right now. I’m not looking in the future. I’m looking at the moment right here.

“We fight Saturday. If I don’t beat Yoshino, we are not going to talk about two or three years what I am going to do.

“Right now I’m fully focused on this guy. I see how hungry he is and I’m very hungry too. I just wanna beat him up.

On Yoshino questioning his power: “Power don’t win fights. I mean, you can be the strongest fighter, but you’re getting in there with somebody that is skilled.

“What he don’t understand is that he never got in the ring with me. He don’t know what it feels like to get hit by me. Once he gets hit by me, lets see if he’s still saying the same thing.”


On the challenge: “It’s like a passing point. He’s definitely the toughest opponent I have faced in my pro career.”

On why Shakur is a tough opponent: “His reflexes are good, his speed is good, and you know, the way that he uses his range is good.

On his own strengths: “I feel my power is a lot more than Shakur, and I have the ability to knock him out with my punches.

On Shakur’s debut: “It’s his first time fighting at lightweight, and I think he’ll be surprised by how heavy the punches are at 135.

On his aims: “I’m not that well known yet because I have fought inside Japan. I want the world to know about Yoshino from Japan. I’m gonna knock him out in round 10.

On fighting in Shakur’s hometown: “Once we’re in the ring, its just the two of us so it doesn’t matter. I don’t feel any effect from being away.

“I’m pumped up for this fight. I don’t really care [about being the underdog]. I’m just gonna prove it in the ring.

Pre-Fight Presser Comments


On being ready at 135 lb: “Is he ready for Saturday night, [that’s] the real question? He walks around here with a smile, and I can’t wait to wipe that smile off his face.

“This dude has been running round saying, I ain’t got no power. He’s been saying he’s going to push me mentally. Let’s see if he is ready to go into deep waters. I’m going to drown him.

On his approach: “You’re going to see everything in the arsenal. I’m going to go out there, box him, beat him up, when he wants to bang, [I’m] touching his body.

“He’s going to leave that ring knowing I’m the best fighter he’s ever been in the ring with. He’s 16-0, he’s fought all orthodox fighters. It’s a whole different world when you get in with a southpaw, especially me, you are going to fight the best southpaw.”


On the challenge: “I’m really pumped up for the fight, and I’m ready to fight Saturday night.

On Shakur’s power: “Bring it on. Let’s find out [how much power] in the ring.

On causing an upset: “[I’m] excited to fight for the WBC title, and this opportunity is going to change [my] place in boxing.

On penetrating Shakur’s defence: “Me and my trainer have been studying Shakur a lot, and we have a game plan to implement on Saturday.”

Rest Of The Card

Damian Knyba vs. Curtis Harper

Troy Isley vs. Roy Barringer

Bruce Carrington vs. Brandon Chambers

Kelvin Davis vs. Nelson Morales, 6 rounds

Antoine Cobb vs. Jaylan Phillips

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