Shakur Stevenson lobbies to be WBO mandatory challenger for Devin Haney

Lightweight contender Shakur Stevenson is continuing to pressure Devin Haney to decide about his future in the lightweight division. 

As first reported by Jake Donovan of, Shakur Stevenson's management team has requested that the WBO name him as the mandatory contender for the lightweight division. Stevenson has previously held the WBO featherweight title and WBO super featherweight title, and yesterday was confirmed as the next mandatory challenger for Haney's WBC title. It is clear that Stevenson's team is now looking to put further pressure on Haney to either fight Stevenson or move up in weight as they are actively pursuing a top ranking in the WBO rankings.

In a letter obtained by Donovan, Josh Dubin, the co-manager of Shakur Stevenson, along with James Prince, asked for the WBO to move Stevenson to the mandatory challenger in the division.

“ I understand that the WBO set a deadline of July 12, 2023, at 9:00 p.m. ET for Mr. Haney to decide whether he would be vacating his title and moving to the Jr. Welterweight division,” Josh Dubin in a letter obtained by Donovan which was addressed to WBO President Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcarcel and Championship Committee Chairman Luis Batista-Salas. “To my knowledge, Mr. Haney elected to remain in the Lightweight Division, and therefore, the declaration of Mr. Stevenson as the Mandatory Challenger is timely and appropriate."

As of now, the WBO has not responded to this document officially. Stevenson is currently the number-one contender in both the WBC and WBO rankings but is currently only the mandatory challenger in the WBC's rankings.

If Haney were to move up in weight and vacate his world title, this would set Stevenson up in a position to challenge for the WBC vacant title, but also be in a great position in the WBO rankings as well. 

Stevenson's team has stated that Stevenson has met the criteria set by the WBO championship committee for becoming the mandatory challenger as he has a record that meets their standards and is one of the top fighters in the division.

Devin Haney is currently a free agent, and seems to be able to fight wherever he sees fit. Stevenson's team believes there should be no obstacles in the way of making a fight between Stevenson and Haney, and Stevenson's team is willing to agree with the WBO's regulations and participate in a purse bid if necessary to make the fight happen.

On April 8, Stevenson stopped Shuichiro Yoshino in the sixth round to earn the WBC lightweight mandatory contender spot, as the bout was a lightweight eliminator.