Undefeated WBC Lightweight Champion Shakur Stevenson Announces Retirement
Shakur Stevenson has taken to social media to announce his retirement from the sport after seven years as a professional. Fans on X are wondering if the WBC lightweight champion’s retirement will last longer than Teofimo Lopez’s brief one.
Retirement Motives a Mystery
The 2020 U.S Olympic silver medalist Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) did not explain why he’s hanging up the gloves at 26, but it could be that he’s bitter about seeing two fighters that he was hoping to fight, Vasily Lomachenko and Emanuel Navarrete, choosing not to face him.
Lomachenko is fighting George Kambosos Jr. next for the vacant IBF lightweight title on May 12th. What was announced today is that Navarrete is fighting Denys Berinchyk for the vacant WBO 135-lb title.
“I’m officially retiring from the sport of boxing I’ll be in the gym forever perfecting my craft and helping the next generation become great and chase they dreams but I ain’t fw this weak boxing game 💪🏾” said Shakur Stevenson on X.
Recently, Devin Haney moved up to 140 rather than staying at lightweight to defend against Stevenson. Many boxing fans believe that Haney didn’t like the idea of dealing with Shakur’s difficult style, so he went up to 140 to avoid him.
Tough Matchup Ahead?
If Shakur were to continue fighting, his options for his first title defense would be against a non-big name. Out of the top 15 contenders in the WBC’s rankings at lightweight, Shakur would be stuck defending against one of these fighters:
- Raymond Muratalla
- Edwin De Los Santos: * rematch
- Zaur Abdullaev
- Artem Harutyunyan
- Shuichiro Yoshino
Muratalla might be the guy that Top Rank matches against Shakur, and that’s not an easy fight. He’s got huge power, and he’s very accurate with his shots.
Running the Risk of Denting Reputation
This wouldn’t be a gunshy De Los Santos that Shakur is facing; Muratalla would be trying to take his head off, and he’d be forced to run even more than he did in his last fight.
The thing is, Shakur can’t afford to be seen as fleeing from another one of his opponents because he already used an injury excuse for why he was unwilling to stand his ground against De Los Santos.
If Shakur runs from Muratalla, he can’t say he was injured again because the fans will see it as a pathetic excuse. Retiring rather than facing Muratalla might be a good option.