Shakur Stevenson shook up the boxing world when he decided that he would retire from the sport altogether. It was a pretty major decision that Stevenson has stuck with, but Bob Arum believes something entirely different. Arum recently announced that he thinks Stevenson will return to boxing in spite of his retirement announcement.
The Situation Regarding Shakur Stevenson’s Retirement
When Stevenson announced his retirement, the WBO just set up a fight to compete for the lightweight title. His doing so prevented the division from being unified due to him holding onto the WBC belt when he hung it up. He became a three-weight world champion by defeating Edwin De Los Santos. However, he was heavily criticized due to that win. He had to play very defensive throughout the entire bout, with some reports stating that it was due to a hand injury that he was nursing before the fight began.
Due to the negative perception of him by the fans after this type of fight, it was being talked about that Stevenson couldn’t sell a fight like he used to anymore. This pretty much took away any possibility that he could fight both Gervonta Davis and Devin Haney, and Stevenson grew frustrated, eventually retiring due to it.
Arum Thinks Stevenson Can Still Compete
Bob Arum was asked about the Stevenson situation, and he didn’t hesitate to share his own thoughts on the matter. He said, “Well, you know, Shakur had an underwhelming appearance in his last fight. That happens, but we know he had a number of injuries training for the fight. People took him to the doctor every other day for ailments that he was undergoing. We think in his next fight, he’ll be terrific, and we’ll see.
I think Shakur is a big, big talent, and I don’t think his last fight is indicative of how good he really is and how exciting he is.” The possibility that Stevenson returns feels likely due to Teofimo Lopez having something similar happen before unretiring himself. Although, if Stevenson doesn’t return, his belt will become vacant.
Now, Stevenson didn’t just retire with nobody lining up to fight him. He was supposedly eyeing William Zepeda before announcing retirement. Zepeda might line up against Maxi Hughes now that a spot could be open. Hughes just lost his WBO title to George Kambosos in his last bout, so he’s going to be itching to get back out there against a talent like Zepeda if the door opens up. On top of that, we’ll see Isaac Cruz and Rolando Romero take each other on to see who can win the WBA junior welterweight title.
Without Stevenson, it certainly feels like there’s a number of different bouts that could get confirmed over the coming weeks/months. If Stevenson does unretire and holds onto his title, then Zepeda might be the most likely matchup, at least for the time being.