Shakur Stevenson plans to ask Top Rank to match him with Vasyl Lomachenko.
On Thursday at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena he fights Edwin de los Santos, 24, for the vacant WBC lightweight title.
The 26-year-old is the significant favourite to win a world title in a third weight division, but recognises that he is not doing so against one of the competitive lightweight scene’s biggest names.
That Devin Haney chose to move to super lightweight to challenge Regis Prograis for the WBC title means he is unlikely to return to 135lbs. Gervonta “Tank” Davis is expected to become Stevenson’s biggest rival, but Lomachenko – who narrowly lost to Haney in May – is, like Stevenson, promoted by Top Rank.
Rumours persist that the Ukrainian will fight George Kambosos Jr next year, but after Stevenson mentioning Lomachenko’s name meant he was asked if he would push Top Rank to fight him next he replied: “Yes. I said that [to them] before this fight.
“This fight was supposed to be Lomachenko. He say he had to take a year off.”
Stevenson had been asked about the prospect of fighting Emanuel Navarette, who defends his WBO super featherweight title against Robson Conceicao on the undercard of Stevenson-De Los Santos, but having also dismissed a question about Frank Martin, who had rejected Thursday’s fight, he said of Navarette: “That’s a distraction fight. That’s distracting us from the fact that I’m supposed to be fighting Lomachenko. Honestly, like I said, Edwin first, but next should be Lomachenko, once I get past Edwin.
“That’s the fight that I think should be. That’s the big fight that should be next. [Among] the best two fighters in the division going head to head.
“[But] we ain’t talking about Frank Martin or [Isaac] 'Pitbull' Cruz – they ain’t fighting me so we talking about Edwin de los Santos.
“Edwin is a good fighter. He’s more of a boxer than he’s trying to act like. He’ll come here, try to move around; I’m gonna figure him out by round four.
“I see him starting off as a boxer, then once he realises that’s not working he’ll become reckless and try to sellout [fight aggressively]. You can tell that he really wants to win; he’s coming here to win.
“He wants to feed his family in the Dominican Republic. This a big opportunity for him so I can see him selling out, and that’s going to work against him.
“He’s good at knocking out lower-level competition.”
Like Lomachenko, Stevenson has previously won world titles at featherweight and super featherweight, and he said: “I love being a lightweight. Making weight is easy; I got more energy right now rather than I don’t have energy at 130. I like lightweight.
“I get to eat a lot more now. I’m eating three, four times a day. Sometimes five. I feel good, man.”