As has been the rumor for a while now, Shakur Stevenson is officially set to defend his WBO featherweight title against Miguel Marriaga on Saturday, Mar. 14, headlining an ESPN card at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York.
The 22-year-old Stevenson (13-0, 7 KO) went 4-0 in 2019, picking up wins over Jessie Cris Rosales, Christopher Diaz, and Alberto Guevara, before beating his girlfriend’s brother, Joet Gonzalez, in October to win the vacant belt, which had been given up by Oscar Valdez, who moved up to 130.
The former Olympic silver medalist is one of Top Rank’s hopeful emerging stars, and ESPN are confidently backing him as a headliner for the third straight outing.
Marriaga (29-3, 25 KO) is a 33-year-old Colombian veteran, and certainly not a joke of an opponent. He’s not considered a high-end contender or anything, and he has been outclassed in losses to Nicholas Walters in 2015 and Oscar Valdez and Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2017, making him 0-3 in title fights, but he’s a competent fighter who can be counted on to give the effort, at the very least. He is the obvious underdog here and a win would be a huge upset, but sadly enough this is hardly a matchup overly worth complaining about given some of the other world title fights we’ve been getting lately.