Shakur Stevenson will not, in fact, be facing unbeaten Hairon Socarras in the main event of Top Rank’s July 13th ESPN show in Newark. ESPN reports that Socarras is out for “various reasons,” leaving Top Rank and co. on the hunt for a new opponent.
The co-feature between Joshua Greer Jr. and Nikolay Potapov remains intact.
Socarras (22-0-3, 14 KO) didn’t figure to particularly challenge Stevenson (11-0, 6 KO), but he at least had a top 10 ranking in the WBA. Stevenson is currently ranked #3 by the WBA and, with Kid Galahad’s loss to Josh Warrington last Saturday, will presumably be the IBF #1 when that sanctioning body rolls out its next set of rankings. Let’s pretend we’re in a world where a top boxer will fight someone this dangerous on a month’s notice and see who’s hypothetically available to step in.
On the WBA side, Stevenson has Jesus Rojas, Bryan de Gracia, Michael Conlan, Socarras, and Yohan Vasquez immediately behind him, with Hiroshige Osawa and Hector Luis Garcia ahead. On the IBF side, there’s Jhack Tepora, Reiya Abe, Sofiane Takoucht, Nathaniel May, and Tugstsogt Nyambayar. Of them, only Conlan fights for Top Rank, and he’s already fighting Vladimir Nikitin in August.
I’m sure some of those guys don’t have promotional hangups, but I’m anticipating a step back from Christopher Diaz.