LAS VEGAS – One of the most intriguing fights that could be made within the lightweight division probably won’t ever happen because of the brotherly bond formed between Shakur Stevenson and Keyshawn Davis.
Stevenson has mentored Davis similar to how Terence Crawford guided Stevenson from the beginning of the two-division champion’s career. Davis appreciates the role Stevenson has played in his development, which will continue Saturday night at Fort Bend Epicenter in Rosenberg, Texas.
That’s where the undefeated Davis (9-0, 6 KOs), of Norfolk, Virginia, will face Nahir Albright (16-2, 7 KOs), of Sicklerville, New Jersey, in a 10-round match. ESPN will televise the Davis-Albright bout as its co-feature before a middleweight title unification fight in which WBO champ Janibek Alimkhanuly (14-0, 9 KOs), a southpaw from Kazakhstan, will battle IBF champ Vincenzo Gualtieri (21-0-1, 7 KOs), of Wuppertal, Germany, in the 12-round main event.
The 26-year-old Stevenson is training in Las Vegas for his own fight next month, but he is looking forward to watching Davis take the next step in the developmental phase of his career.
“Keyshawn a bad motherf—–,” Stevenson told a group of reporters and videographers recently at Top Rank’s gym. “I can’t wait to see what he gonna do in his next fight. I been enjoying watching Keyshawn over the years, too. Keyshawn, they don’t understand, Keyshawn somebody that was right here with me every day, like grew up with me. Like how [Crawford] was takin’ me under the wing, I took Keyshawn under the wing at a certain period of time. And just watching him grow now, like he kinda backed away and started doing his own thing, but I enjoy watching him.”
Davis is listed by DraftKings sportsbook as a 25-1 favorite to beat Albright, who pulled off a mild upset in his last appearance. Albright edged Karlos Balderas (14-2, 12 KOs), a 2016 U.S. Olympian from Santa Maria, California, by majority decision in their eight-rounder July 28 at Palms Casino Resort’s Pearl Theater in Las Vegas.
Davis defeated Belgium’s Francesco Patera (28-4, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision in his last fight, a 10-rounder ESPN aired July 22 from FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The 24-year-old Davis – who is ranked seventh by the WBA, eighth by both the IBF and WBO and 12th by the WBC – will fight for the fifth time in just about 10 months when he battles Albright.
Assuming the heavily favored Davis wins Saturday night and leaves the ring without any cuts or injuries, he is expected to return to the ring December 9 in another bout ESPN will broadcast. The 2021 Olympic silver medalist’s opponent for that fight hasn’t been determined.
Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs), a southpaw from Newark, New Jersey who won a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, is scheduled to box Dominican southpaw Edwin De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) for the vacant WBC lightweight title November 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. ESPN will televise Stevenson-De Los Santos as the main event of a rare Thursday night broadcast.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.