Shakur Stevenson competes in his second lightweight contest when he takes on Edwin De Los Santos for the vacant WBC title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on November 16. If he can claim gold in a third weight class, Stevenson could have a big 2024.
A former WBO featherweight and WBC/WBO/Ring super featherweight champion, Stevenson is widely recognized as one of the finest fighters in the world today. The Newark-born lefty has dominated world-class opposition, thanks to his dazzling speed and elite-level skills.
De Los Santos is on a three-fight win streak but comes into this fight as a +700 underdog, per Per BetMGM. The Dominican contender replaces Frank Martin, who declined to face Stevenson due to a contract dispute.
If Stevenson takes De Los Santos, then the possibilities are endless for the 26-year-old technician.
WATCH: Shakur Stevenson vs. Edwin De Los Santos, exclusively on ESPN+
The Sporting News looks at the options for Stevenson should he overcome his next challenge.
A potentially massive showdown is Stevenson vs. Devin Haney. The anticipation for this bout has increased thanks to Stevenson calling Haney out at every opportunity.
As the undisputed lightweight champion, Haney has been named WBC “champion in recess” after agreeing to fight Regis Prograis for the WBC super lightweight title. Prior to that, Stevenson and Haney were on a collision course. However, there were issues with the fight purse, as Stevenson believed he was not getting what he thought he was worth.
There is a chance the two could still fight one another, even after the weight change.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t mind (fighting Haney), but it’s got to make sense,” Stevenson told Fight Hype via Boxing News 24. “If it makes sense, we can get something going.”
MORE: Why was Terence Crawford stripped by the IBF?
The biggest fight for Stevenson may very well be against Gervonta Davis.
Davis halted Ryan Garcia in seven rounds in April and has since been dubbed “the new face of boxing.” Stevenson may take exception to that, and the respective styles of both fighters would be sure to gel in a potentially explosive matchup.
While coach Calvin Ford believes Isaac Cruz could be next for Davis, Stevenson believes he’s the right opponent for “Tank.”
“I’ve got a lot more faith in the ‘Tank’ fight happening before Devin,” Stevenson told Fight Hype via Boxing News 24. “I think Tank is competitive, and deep down inside he wants to prove to the world that he wants to beat me, and I want to prove that I beat him.”
A fight between Stevenson and the former lightweight king in Vasiliy Lomachenko might be the easiest contest to book. With both promoted by Top Rank, they have each expressed interest in facing one another.
Since dropping a controversial decision to Haney, Lomachenko decided to take the rest of the year off. The aging former champ put a lot into the Haney fight and he’s also been proactive in helping his home country of Ukraine since the Russian invasion.
Stevenson hopes that by 2024, Lomachenko will be well-rested and ready to face him.
MORE: What would happen if Joshua faced Ngannou?
“I would love to fight Lomachenko,” Stevenson told Boxing Scene. “I don’t know why we didn’t fight this fight. That shoulda been the next fight. I heard he got offered the biggest purse of his career and turned it down. So, hopefully, we can still make something happen. I don’t see why not.
“I think it’s a possibility that I stop him,” Stevenson said. “And if not, I’ll be beating the s— out of him.”
Golden Boy Promotions boss Oscar De La Hoya has discussed plans for Zepeda to challenge Stevenson should he beat De Los Santos.
Zepeda (29-0) is 2-0 in 2023, with his last fight being a knockout win over Mercito Gesta in September. He is currently rated No. 4 in the WBC lightweight rankings.
“Look, Shakur’s a young Mayweather. He really is. And he’s probably a better finisher than Mayweather. I don’t want to take anything from Mayweather, he’s a great fighter, one of the best of all time, but Shakur has that kind of talent. He’s that good,” Golden Boy President Eric Gomez told The 3 Knockdown Rule via Boxing Scene. “I love the way he works, his ring generalship, he works his distance well.
“But for whatever reason, if you look at Mayweather’s career, who gave him problems? [Jose Luis] Castillo and [Marcos] Maidana. And William Zepeda, he throws more than [those guys], and he changes his height, he changes his angles. There’s something that William Zepeda sees. He tells us, ‘We want Shakur, we want Shakur.’”