By Brian Webber: Shakur Stevenson says he’d be interested in fighting Emanuel Navarrete “if the business is right” after his November 16th clash against Edwin De Los Santos at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Hopefully, Stevenson doesn’t price himself out like he did with Devin Haney, because he’s become his own worst enemy in making big fights by wanting big money before he’s even become a star.
Shakur’s fights are so boring to watch, and that’s why Top Rank needs to hit the nuclear button by throwing him in with Navarrete in a sink-or-swim fashion.
When you have a guy like Shakur, who uses that awful safety-first Mayweather-esque fighting style, it requires matching them against knockout artists because he’ll never be a star fighting regular A & B-level opposition.
Top Rank could have the Stevenson-Navarrete fight in mind for Shakur’s next fight, as Navarrete (38-1, 31 KOs) is fighting on the undercard on November 16th, defending his WBO super featherweight title against Robson Conceicao.
It would be a good move for Shakur & Navarrete to battle it out, as the winner would be catapulted to PPV stardom, and it’s the fastest way for Top Rank to create a star out of the two fighters. If the loser puts up a good fight, they’ll still come out ahead.
It would be shocking if Stevenson gets beaten by Navarrete, but it could happen. Cuban Robeisy Ramirez had Shakur in tears in the 2016 Olympics after beating him. Robeisy used nonstop pressure to beat Stevenson, taking advantage of his reluctance to stay in the pocket and fight.
If Shakur uses that awful pull-back style of his against Navarrete, he could lose because he’s actually got to fight the powerful Mexican brawler if he wants to win. Stevenson’s not going to box his way to an ugly win like he’s been doing his entire career.
In a perfect world, Mayweather Promotions would let their main money-maker, Gervonta Davis, fight Shakur Stevenson, but they’re not going to pull the trigger on that mega-fight at this time.
As Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe pointed out recently, the big fights that fans want to see Tank Davis in will eventually happen, but not yet.
Top Rank’s decision to include Navarrete on the undercard of Shakur’s fight with De Los Santos on ESPN suggests that they want to put together a Stevenson-Navarrete match for early 2024.
“You got to ask Top Rank. They probably can answer that question, but once again, I’m willing to fight whoever, whenever, as long as the business is right,” Shakur said on whether he thinks his promoters are positioning him to fight Emanuel Navarrete.
“Navarrete is on undercard. Hopefully, he can do his thing. I’m going to do my thing, and we could do a big fight next,” said Shakur.
“I’m not sucking down to 130 no more. I’m at a comfortable weight class , where I don’t have to lose that much weight. Honestly, we can see a lot more knockouts.
“It’s frustrating. I like to fight and want to be in the most competitive fights,
which is why I’m fighting Edwin De Los Santos,” said Stevenson to the media when asked if he likes being the boogeyman in the lightweight division.
“I don’t like it. I want to be in the biggest fights. I don’t want to fight mediocre competition,” said Shakur when asked if he likes being avoided.
“Right now, there’s only two names. Well, mainly two big names for a big fight,” said Stevenson about the 135-lb division.