Shakur Stevenson looks to become a three-division world champion when he faces Edwin de Los Santos for the vacant WBC lightweight championship at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on November 16.
The undefeated 2016 Olympic silver medalist has been pursuing the biggest names in boxing over the past few years by issuing challenges to Devin Haney, Vasiliy Lomachenko, and Gervonta “Tank” Davis. However, none have accepted the 26-year-old’s call. The product of New Jersey was penciled in to face Frank Martin for the vacant title but Martin inexplicably backed out of the fight.
MORE: Everything you need to know about Shakur Stevenson vs. Edwin de Los Santos
Stevenson will instead get the hard-hitting De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) in the main event.
De Los Santos has impressed in his previous two outings with a third-round knockout of Jose Valenzuela in September 2022 that was followed by a unanimous decision over Joseph Adorno in July. It’s a significant step up in competition for the 24-year-old from the Dominican Republic as he pursues his first taste of championship gold.
Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) has been belt collecting over the past three years. He won the vacant WBO featherweight title by dominating Joet Gonzalez in 2019 and captured the WBO super featherweight title by running roughshod over Jamel Herring with a tenth-round TKO in 2021. He later added the WBC and Ring titles by cruising past Oscar Valdez in 2022.
Stevenson will now make the move to lightweight as he continues to chase after the top names in the sport. But De Los Santos doesn’t plan to be a speed bump on Stevenson’s road to greatness and aims to pull off the massive upset.
The Sporting News gives insight on how to bet on this lightweight title matchup.
Per Fanduel, Stevenson is a -1300 favorite while De Los Santos is a +720 underdog.
Shakur Stevenson is not as decorated as Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez nor is he as popular as Gervonta Davis or Ryan Garcia and found himself on the outside looking in when it came to the “Four Kings” conversation. Still, he’s perhaps the most skilled young talent in the sport. He shares an ability to hit and avoid taking any punishment with other boxing legends including Pernell Whittaker and Floyd Mayweather.
De Los Santos is an aggressive opponent who has a powerful left hand. But he’s touched the canvas against lesser opposition and has some pretty glaring bad habits defensively that Stevenson can exploit.
Stevenson is a significant favorite due to his boxing ability at -1300, which makes it quite difficult to find value in a straight-up wager. Instead, taking a look at the method of victory can yield the value that would make the fight worth betting.
It’s obvious to most that Stevenson could spend the duration of the fight using his defense and speed to pick apart De Los Santos. But Stevenson has started to sit down on his punches more often. He’s stopped two of his last four opponents and seems to be turning a corner with his power. Given De Los Santos’ aggressive nature and defensive deficiencies, Stevenson will likely be presented with plenty of opportunities to hurt his opponent.
De Los Santos will find himself overmatched in a hurry against Stevenson but he only fights in one gear. Eventually, his aggression will become his worst enemy and Stevenson will step on the gas in the mid to late rounds in what will become a sharpshooting clinic.
He may not knock De Los Santos out cold but he’s going to pile on the damage to the point where the referee will have to rescue him from further punishment.
Sporting News prediction: Stevenson via KO/TKO (+320)