Shakur Stevenson is destined for “greatness” and has elevated himself into “a different category”, says his promoter Bob Arum, who wants to pit him against Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez.
Stevenson became an undefeated two-weight world champion at the age of 24 by dominating and stopping Jamel Herring to claim the WBO super-featherweight championship in a breakthrough performance.
He called out Valdez, who holds the WBC belt in the same division, saying: “He can’t keep ducking! It’s time to fight! Me versus Oscar, there is nothing else to look forward to.”
Top Rank’s Arum, who promotes both, told Sky Sports: “We can suggest it to the fighters. But ultimately it is the fighters and their management who decide who to fight next.
“I want Valdez to fight Emanuel Navarrete, and to match Shakur against maybe Berchelt, who Valdez beat in a spectacular fight.
“We’d see how Shakur does with Berchelt, then we can match the winners.
“I think that’s the way to go. That’s what we will suggest to them.
“I hope to have Shakur back in the ring in March or April. Same thing with Valdez and Navarrete.”
Emanuel Navarrete is a two-weight world champion who would step into a third division to fight his fellow Mexican Valdez, if that fight happens.
Berchelt, also from Mexico, held the WBC super-featherweight title until he was viciously knocked out by Valdez.
But Stevenson’s most recent win, which added power to his undoubted skill, should put the whole sport on alert, Arum believes.
He said: “We always knew, as did everybody, that Shakur was an amazing talent.
“But it’s one thing to be a talent, and another thing to take that talent and become a crowd-pleasing fighter.
“Shakur now understands that.
“It was a great performance against a very skilled guy in Herring.
“Shakur, unlike his previous performances, didn’t come out, win a few rounds, then coast to victory.
“He came out to beat his opponent decisively.
“That puts him in a completely different category to before.
“I see this as the opening act of Shakur Stevenson. We will see greatness in the years ahead.”
Asked how successful Stevenson could become, Arum said: “Shakur will go into the annals among the superstars in boxing.
“It’s a silly argument to say: ‘Will he surpass Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez?’
“What does that mean? Nothing. They will never fight each other. They are in different weight categories.
“Will he surpass Tyson Fury? Who cares!
“I just want him to be a superstar. We have plenty of superstars at Top Rank – Teofimo Lopez could be one, Vasiliy Lomachenko is a superstar, Josh Taylor is a superstar.”
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
October 31 – Top Rank in New York
Jose Zepeda vs Josue Vargas
November 6 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Mikaela Mayer vs Maiva Hamadouche – IBF and WBO super-featherweight titles
November 6 – BOXXER in Liverpool
November 20 – BOXXER in London
Richard Riakporhe vs Olanrewaju Durodola
Caroline Dubois professional debut
November 20 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter – WBO welterweight title
December 11 – BOXXER
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin
December 11 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Richard Commey
December 17 – Top Rank in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne – IBF and WBC light-heavyweight titles
February 26 – Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight title