Robert Garcia: Shakur Stevenson And Teofimo Lopez ‘Ducked’ Raymond Muratalla

Robert Garcia has accused Shakur Stevenson and Teofimo Lopez of avoiding his fighter Raymond Muratalla

Stevenson and Lopez are on course to return to the ring. Stevenson is expected to take on Artem Harutyunyan. It was an underwhelming name, given who he was linked with. William Zepeda called out Shakur, only for Oscar De La Hoya to rule out that fight. Shakur was also willing to face Devin Haney if Ryan Garcia pulled out. However, Garcia has dismissed worries over his mental state. 

As for Lopez, his below-par performance against Jamaine Ortiz has damaged his commercial value. Despite landing more power punches, there was a perception Ortiz had outboxed him by landing more. Even with a unanimous decision win to retain his WBO Junior Welterweight Title, the spectacle drew jeers from the crowd. Now, Lopez looks likely to fight Steve Claggett. Though the Canadian is on a nine-fight win streak, he also has seven losses on his record. However, none of his wins are against big names, as Garcia accused Teo and Shakur of ducking. 

“100%. They told us a few weeks ago if it was available if we could move up and prefer going up to 140 to challenge Teofimo. Since all the 135s are also doing the same, not choosing Raymond [Muratalla] as their next opponent, I said I’m open to do it, but it looks like Teofimo chose to fight somebody else [Steve Claggett] too.

“The other belts are vacant, so we can’t talk about those guys [at lightweight] because we don’t know who is going to win, obviously. Loma will more likely win [against George Kambosos Jr. for the vacant IBF 135-lb title], and [Emanuel] Navarrete will likely win [against Denis Berinchyk for the vacant WBO belt on May 18th], but we have to wait to see who wins. Shakur, we did the same thing with Shakur, and he chose to fight some guy [Artem Harutyunyan] that lost his last fight [against Frank Martin],” Garcia stated 

Muratalla is an undefeated 20-0 fighter with 16 knockouts. He has stopped four of his previous five opponents. A defeat against Muratalla distances Shakur and Lopez from the big fights they are already struggling to make. So, for now, Muratalla is seen as a big risk. 

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