Shakur Stevenson has stepped down as a junior lightweight. After missing weight by 1.6 pounds for his match against Robson Conceicao on Thursday, the unified champion at 130 pounds no longer holds that title. Stevenson had the option of losing the last few pounds after stepping on the scale, but he chose not to.
Stevenson announced on Twitter on Thursday that he will no longer compete at 130 pounds, effectively forfeiting his WBC and WBO super-featherweight world titles.
He wrote “I gave it my all,” Stevenson said. “I’ve been professional my whole career and made weight, but my body just can’t make 130 anymore. My health has to come first.”
The fight, scheduled for the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, was Stevenson's first title defense at home. The fight will still take place, but only Conceicao will be able to win the titles, which Stevenson will officially relinquish once the fight comes to the conclusion.
Conceicao, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, has a 17-1 record with eight knockouts but suffered his first professional loss last year.
Even before his weigh in failure, Stevenson was widely expected to advance to lightweight. The lack of top-tier opponents at junior lightweight, combined with the current depth at 135 pounds, made this decision appear much easier. Fights with undisputed champion Devin Haney, Vasiliy Lomachenko, and even Gervonta "Tank" Davis now seem very likely.
Stevenson has an 18-0 record with nine knockout victories, with his most recent victory coming in April against Oscar Valdez.
The weigh in miss could be a blessing in disguise for the sport of Boxing as Stevenson’s move up to the 135 lbs division will increase chances of crunch matchups in the future.
Let us know your views on Shakur Stevenson as a boxer and can he hang with the best at 135 lbs?