Shakur Stevenson is disappointed that he had been told the real challenges were at lightweight, only for some of the division’s big guns to move up a weight class.
Stevenson is part of what could have been a modern-day 135lbs dynasty that was bursting with potential, but already Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia have gone to junior-welterweight, leaving behind Lomachenko, Tank Davis and Shakur.
Haney today announced his fight with Regis Prograis for San Francisco in December.
“It’s an okay fight,” said Stevenson. “I don’t have a pick for it. I sparred Regis twice. I was cool with a 140-pounder. Regis is a hell of a fighter but I can hang. I spar 140 all the time. Weight don’t win fights, skill wins fights.”
Stevenson is not ruling out Haney being an improved fighter at 140, but he is not optimistic that him and Haney ever get back on track. Stevenson has an old school mentality that means he just wants to fight the best. Haney made Stevenson an offer earlier this year (said to be 75/25 Haney) but, according to Stevenson, one that was too low, and it saw a fight between them move further away than before.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Shakur went on. “I’ll fight anybody. As long as the money and the business makes sense, sign me up.”
Does he think he and Haney will ever meet?
“No, I don’t think that fight happens,” Stevenson added. “It is what it is. I think it’s a duck [he said of the offer]. Because of the fighter I am, because of the accolades I have, I’m not just a regular fighter moving to 135. I’m a fighter who conquered the title at ’26, 130, I feel the offer was bullshit, I didn’t really say no to it. I was going to keep going and see what can the WBC demand? It could have been the same thing, or it could have been less or more. We will never know what it is because he decided to move up. I don’t think they wanted to fight me. Deep down, I don’t think they wanted to get in the ring with a fighter like me right after the performance that they had with Lomachenko. I don’t think their confidence level was super high. At the end of the day, I can’t force nobody to fight me.”
It was a frustrating period for Stevenson, He was then going to fight Frank Martin, but negotiations fell apart, but he will fight Edwin De Los Santos in Las Vegas next month.
Neither Haney nor Martin are on Stevenson’s Christmas card list.
“Haney [for] doing goofy shit,” Stevenson said. “Frank spoke on my situation. Frank went in the media and on air and said, ‘If I was Shakur, I’d take the offer I was presented [for Haney], so he spoke on a situation which had nothing to do with him and then once you did that, I feel it was disrespect and now I’m going to disrespect you. I’m not even trying to talk about it. A lot of people don’t understand the insides of it. It’s not me. I don’t start nothing with nobody. I’m just, once you start something with me, I felt a certain type of way and came back at that person. I’m never going to start something. I never made it what it is now, but now it’s the way that it is, that’s what’s up.
“I’m cool. I don’t want to rectify nothing. I’m straight.”
Stevenson won’t rule out jumping to 140 in the future, but it might not be for a while. He’s only just landed at 135 and is fine at the weight.
“I wouldn’t count it out, but right now let me get my feet wet at 135,” he said. “When I came up to 135, they said this was the toughest division and now I’m here they want to big up 140 and make 140 the division [the place to be]. I can only tell you what I’m doing. In my world, I’ll fight anybody.”