Shakur Stevenson To Fight Without His Head Trainer
WBO Featherweight Champion Shakur Stevenson will be going into his non-title fight against Felix Caraballo today, June 9 with one hand behind his back. According to ESPN, Kay Koroma, his head trainer, will not be by his side due to a recent COVID-19-related incident.
While Koroma did not test positive for the coronavirus, he was around someone who was. Recently, Mikaela Mayer announced she was out of her fight with Helen Joseph after testing positive for the virus. As a result of recent rulings by the Nevada Athletic Commission, all those who may pose a threat to others or the fight card will be removed from the Top Rank event and the restricted area everyone is in.
Edward Jackson will replace Koroma as head trainer. Stevenson (13-0) will also have Willie Moses, his grandfather, in his corner. The fight card will be taking place inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Mayer said she is asymptomatic, and understood the procedures brought forth by the NAC.
“Typically, when a person in any camp tests positive, the contact tracing takes place, and if it’s revealed that the person tested positive from contract tracing, was in contact with that person, then obviously they could be asymptomatic and they would be removed from the event, as well,” Bob Bennett, the Executive Director of the Nevada Athletic Commission told ESPN.”
Koroma stated he felt good and will cheer on his team from wherever he can. Jared Anderson, who is also competing on the card, was supposed to have Koroma in his corner as well.
“We respect the protocols being put in place for this fight,” Stevenson ended up saying. “Coach Kay Koroma tested negative upon our arrival here in Las Vegas, but we are following the Nevada commission, Top Rank, and MGM Grand guidelines.
“I’m disappointed that he won’t be able to be in my corner, but I am fully focused and locked in on tomorrow night and will put on another great show on ESPN.”
This is another small setback for Stevenson. He was supposed to face Miguel Marriaga on March 14 inside Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater. As a result of the pandemic, the fight was postponed. Stevenson’s original opponent for today’s fight, Rafael Rivera, had to recently back out as a result of visa issues. He will now face off against Caraballo.
There will reportedly be another test done for all fighters before fight night. Everyone involved will be required to wear a mask as they enter the venue.
Top Rank’s return to action begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.