Shakur Stevenson And Emanuel Navarrete Make Career-Altering Moves
It is now official: Shakur Stevenson and Emanuel Navarrete will be testing the waters and moving up in weight.
Following an initial report that Stevenson (14-0) would be moving up to 130 pounds, the WBO Featherweight Champion officially decided to leave the 126-pound division. WBO President Francisco Valcarcel confirmed that Stevenson will be giving up the WBO Featherweight Title. As a result, he has become the number one challenger in the junior-lightweight division.
“On July 7, Shakur wrote to the WBO to notify this sanctioning body that he was having serious difficulties making the division’s 126-pound limit. Because of this, he decided to move up in weight requested to be ranked in the Junior Lightweight (130 pound) division, where Jamel Herring is the current WBO ruler,” the WBO stated in a release.
A silver medalist in the 2016 Olympics, Stevenson made his boxing debut in 2017. He won the IBF Inter-Continental and WBC Continental Americas Featherweight Title in his tenth fight and the WBO-NABO Featherweight Title right after. Towards the end of 2019, Stevenson beat Joet Gonzalez to become WBO Featherweight Champion.
In non-title action, Stevenson fought at 130 a few weeks ago, beating Felix Caraballo in Top Rank’s return to action. Looking to fight Josh Warrington at one point, Stevenson has moved on.
“I look forward in the very near future to fighting for another World Championship within the WBO,” Stevenson stated to the WBO.
As a result of Stevenson leaving, Navarrete is looking to take advantage of the situation. The WBO Junior-Featherweight Champion has also vacated his title to become a potential mandatory challenger for the WBO Featherweight Title.
Navarrete (31-1) made his boxing debut in 2012. He won the WBO title from Isaac Dogboe in 2018 and beat him in a rematch to retain the title. He defended the title five times, with his last defense coming against Jeo Santisima back in February. The 25-year-old last fought in June, fighting Uriel Lopez to a no-contest. This was a result of the Mexico City Boxing Commission not sanctioning the bout.
Fighters that could end up facing Navarrete, if approved as the top contender, include Michael Conlan, Jessie Magdaleno, and Ruben Villa. Magdaleno has offered his services to fight for the title, whoever may or may not be champion.
Valcarcel is hoping to book fights for both competitors as soon as possible.