Stevenson’s June Fight Not Official According to Ward
Bob Arum believes in Shakur Stevenson. The WBO Featherweight Champion is reportedly set to open up Top Rank’s return to action on June 9. According to Andre Ward, one of the top advisers of Stevenson, nothing is set in stone yet.
Ward (32-0) recently went on the State of Boxing program for ESPN to talk about Stevenson (13-0). He stated Stevenson still needs time to prepare. That doesn’t mean, however, that he won’t be ready during the month of June.
“Shakur’s potential fight in June is not official,” Ward stated, via Boxing Scene. “I can tell you he’s been notified about it. Even weeks ago, we told him multiple, multiple times (to) stay ready, stay in shape. We don’t know when things are gonna be up and going. Top Rank [is] working on a plan, so be ready so you don’t have to get ready.
“He’s done that. I think this thing is days away from being finalized, but he will be ready I believe for early June and I can’t wait.”
Stevenson (13-0) last fought in October, beating Joet Gonzalez via unanimous decision. He was originally set to face off against Miguel Marriaga inside Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater on March 14. The card was postponed as a result of the coronavirus. He is set to face off against Rafael Rivera (27-4-2), who is 2-2 in his last four fights. Rivera’s last bout was a loss to Jessie Magdaleno back in August.
Since March, boxing has been on hold. Several fights have been postponed, and major names can’t enter the United States due to travel restrictions. Arum is hoping Nevada will be able to host several events in June, with testing proposals in place to limit the spread of the virus.
Ward is a former super-middleweight and light-heavyweight champion. A lineal champion, Ward is one of the last male boxers to win gold in the Olympics, doing so in 2004. Stevenson won silver in 2016, and his attitude during training and at events is something Ward can commend.
“I know for a fact that Shakur Stevenson has that [old-school] mentality,” Ward went on to say. “He’s a younger guy but I’ve always been impressed by his old-school mentality.
“He stays in the gym, he works out a lot and wants to fight often.”
When do you think Stevenson will actually be ready to fight?