Shakur Stevenson: Scared Fighters Are Delaying My Return

Shakur Stevenson has accused fighters of being scared to face him, explaining the reason for his delayed fight announcement. 

Stevenson reversed his retirement to announce a comeback fight for July 6. He retired after mass criticism over his performance against Edwin De Los Santos. Shakur fought off his jab while De Los Santos struggled to cut the ring off, making it a dour spectacle. Although Shakur won the WBC Lightweight Title, he was booed during the fight. Upon his return, he has been targeting several names. 

William Zepeda and Devin Haney were some of the names mentioned. Zepeda called out Shakur after stopping Maxi Hughes. However, Oscar De La Hoya said his fighter would move in a different direction. Stevenson also wanted to replace Ryan Garcia for the Haney fight. There were suggestions Garcia may not be mentally well enough to take that fight after his admission of smoking weed and drinking alcohol. That fight is still on course to go ahead, leaving Shakur without a big name, as he blamed the division for not wanting to fight. 

“It wasn’t my decision to wait this long; if it were up to me, I would have been back in March or April. Tell that to all the punk a** fighters in my weight that turned down the fight with me,” Shakur said 

The problem Shakur faces is the lack of marketability around him. He is not a front-foot aggressive fighter like Gervonta Davis, making him a risky fight with little monetary gain. Reports currently suggest he is close to agreeing a deal to face Artem Harutyunyan.

Harutyunyan is coming off a close decision loss to Frank Martin, but once again, he is not a big name. However, since Shakur has one fight left on his Top Rank deal, a top performance may attract him to other promoters. Leonard Ellerbe remained coy over whether PBC would be interested in signing Shakur. 

“I can’t speak on any of that. Shakur is under contract with Top Rank, he has an excellent team behind him, Bob and them know what they’re doing and they’ve done a very good job with his career thus far and that’s on everybody else. I don’t have anything to do with that,” Ellerbe stated

If Sharkur desires to make the biggest fights, he must put on more attacking performances. Should he manage to do that, he makes himself more appealing to other promoters looking to sign arguably a generational talent. 

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