With Shakur Stevenson making it clear and official enough that he’s definitely staying at 130 pounds and not fighting anymore at 126, the 23-year-old Olympic silver medalist and soon-to-be-former WBO featherweight titleholder has two big names in mind.
One is Miguel Berchelt, who holds the WBC title at 130, and the other is WBA titleholder Leo Santa Cruz. And Stevenson figures one fight is easier to make than the other.
“I’d say Berchelt. I’d really say Santa Cruz, but I think Santa Cruz is fighting with Tank (Davis), so I think Berchelt is the fight that will make more sense,” Stevenson told ESPN’s Max Kellerman on Thursday. “I’ll take that fight.”
Stevenson, promoted by Top Rank, is probably right that Berchelt, a Top Rank/Zanfer fighter, will be easier to land than Santa Cruz, a PBC fighter and one often noted for his passiveness and compliance with PBC matchmaking and guidance. And yes, Santa Cruz is expected to fight Gervonta Davis.
But as we’ve noted before, Berchelt is expected to fight Oscar Valdez, should Valdez beat Jayson Velez on July 21. Top Rank have been aiming for that fight for a while. So Shakur may be waiting a while regardless. And in all honesty, Stevenson might want at least one more fight at 130, one not against a Miguel Cotto cosplayer, before he jumps in with the top guy in the division.
Stevenson, of course, does not lack confidence.
“Nobody can beat me. I’m sorry to say. They’re all great fighters, I just feel like I’m on a whole different level.”