Shakur Stevenson Locks In Next Opponent


By AJ Johnson

Shakur Stevenson Chose An Interesting Opponent

Shakur Stevenson has had fans on the edge of their seats as they await his next opponent in the ring. That next matchup has recently gotten confirmed, with Stevenson preparing to match up with Artem Harutyunyan on July 6th in Newark, New Jersey.

Stevenson will not be fighting without something at stake, as his WBC lightweight title is going to be on the line. Despite the announcement, fans were heavily disappointed. His most recent bout was against Edwin De Los Santos, a fight in which he was able to win the WBC belt. The problem with that victory was that he was criticized for playing extremely defensively and was booed relentlessly throughout the competition. 

Not long after, Stevenson announced his shocking retirement from the sport, though wasn’t able to completely follow through with that choice. He backtracked that decision and wanted to give the fans a better fight than the last one. Shakur made sure to point out that he had a hand injury coming into the bout against De Los Santos, which was why he played so defensively that day. The hope, both for himself and the fans, is that this next fight with Artem winds up putting him back in the conversation against the top names in boxing.

With all of that being said, Artem Harutyunyan isn’t the best matchup he could have gotten. He’s not the flashiest or most recognizable fighter with a 12-1-0 record and seven knockouts. Shakur needs a win here to win over some of the viewers again, but one has to wonder if he can still do that with people not liking his matchup. 

Regardless, Stevenson is getting the fight and location that he was looking for. He said, “It feels good to be going back home to Newark, where they appreciate a young legend, and to make my first title defense at 135. On July 6th, down goes Artem.” As you might have expected, Artem doesn’t share the same thoughts on that, saying, “I respect Shakur Stevenson as a champion, but I’m coming to shock his hometown fans and win the WBC lightweight championship. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I will take full advantage of it.” This fight will open many doors for whichever competitor emerges victorious. Stevenson is simply hoping that he can once again get into the good graces of the fans with a dominant and aggressive performance.