Shakur Stevenson snatched at Jamel Herring’s world title belt during the pre-fight press conference and weigh-in. After Saturday’s virtuoso performance at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Stevenson added some flashy hardware to his collection. Stevenson toppled Herring via 10th-round TKO to win the WBO junior lightweight world title and become a two-weight world champion at 24 years of age.

Bruised and cut, referee Mark Nelson stopped the fight with Stevenson pitching a shutout on two of the three cards.

“Around the fifth round, I was landing everything and then he started trying to come on,” Stevenson said. “I smelled blood. I saw he was bleeding and was like, ‘OK, I have to attack the cut. I was trying to touch the cut to make the doctor try and stop it.”

Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, “A sensational performance from Shakur Stevenson, who showed why so many think he’s the future pound-for-pound king. Jamel Herring displayed the heart of a champion, but he was in there with an incredible fighter tonight.”

Herring (23-3, 11 KOs) has made a career off of upsetting the odds, bouncing back from a pair of lightweight defeats to become a world champion. He defended his title three times and had designs on derailing a potential pound-for-pound superstar.

“He’s sharp and slick. His hand-eye coordination is very good,” Herring said. “No excuses. He was just the better man tonight.”

Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), from Newark, New Jersey, has been destined for stardom since capturing a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He had a brief run as a featherweight champion, but had never faced an established world champion until Herring. Stevenson picked Herring apart at mid range, while Herring tried in vain to ugly things up on the inside.

As soon as the fight ended, talk began about Stevenson’s next foe. The top name on his list is the WBC champion at 130 pounds, Mexican star Oscar Valdez.

Stevenson said, “There’s only one fight left at the end of the day. It’s the biggest fight at the end of the day. Oscar can’t keep ducking. It’s time for him to fight. There’s nothing else to look forward to. The 130-pound division needs to unify. Let’s get it!”

ATLANTA (Oct. 21, 2021)—They started as acquaintances, but once Jamel Herring acquired the belt Shakur Stevenson wanted, the friendly vibes went out the window. Herring will defend his WBO junior lightweight world title against former featherweight champion Stevenson on Saturday night from State Farm Arena in Atlanta (ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, 10:30 p.m. ET).

Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) has made three defenses of the title he won from Masayuki Ito in May 2019. Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs), a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, is considered by many to be the heir to the pound-for-pound throne. He picked up the interim world title in June with a dominant decision over Jeremiah Nakathila.

When Herring and Stevenson had their final faceoff, the fighters and their teams exchanged verbal barbs, with Stevenson grabbing Herring’s belt on multiple occasions. They were separated and will resume the jawing at Friday’s weigh-in.

The ESPN main card will also feature Puerto Rican star Xander Zayas (10-0, 7 KOs) in a six-round junior middleweight bout against Dan Karpency, and the second pro bout for middleweight Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of “The Greatest.”

The ESPN+ undercard stream (7:30 p.m. ET) will showcase junior middleweight prospect Evan Holyfield (7-0, 5 KOs), son of Atlanta legend and former four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at

At Thursday’s final press conference, this is what the combatants had to say.

Jamel Herring

“The odds just play to my story. I’ve always been an underdog, not just in boxing but in life, so I don’t get into the oddsmaker thing. It doesn’t bother me at all.”

“It’s not personal, it’s just business. We’re building a fight is all it means to me. I’ve heard worse and been through worse. We’re just two top competitors in the division trying to prove who is the best.”

“It just feels like another elite level fight in a loaded and talented division, so we just take it one fight at a time. We put all personal feelings to the side and just go to work and do what we have to do.”

“Atlanta is cool. I have family out here. My sons live out here as well. It’s another home and it’s an honor just to be fighting in the State Farm Arena because there’s not a lot of fights coming into town, so whenever you can bring a special fight to a certain city, it’s always a great thing.”

Shakur Stevenson

“It means everything to me. This is my first time being able to go against a champion and being able to take a champion’s belt will mean a lot to me…. and I can’t wait to hear them say, “AND THE NEW!'”

“It’s definitely not personal, just business at the end of the day. He’s not my friend. I don’t hit him up and say, ‘let’s fight.'” We don’t have any conversations. I don’t talk to Jamel Herring outside of boxing.”

“It’s going to feel real good beating the whole team. I can’t wait to go against {Herring trainers Brian McIntyre and Red Spikes}. It’s not just Jamel that I’m fighting. I’ve got to beat Bomac and Red, and it’ll feel good doing that.”

“You’re going to see a special night, my coming out party. It’s going to be a great night, and he said he’s going to spoil the party, so let’s see if he can do it.”

Photo by M. Williams / Top Rank

WBO junior lightweight world champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring and undefeated former featherweight world champion Shakur Stevenson have trained together and share many of the same friends. Sometimes friends make the best enemies.

Herring will defend his world title against Stevenson on Saturday, Oct. 23 (ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 10:30 p.m. ET) at the award-winning State Farm Arena in Atlanta. One of the year’s most anticipated fight cards will also include the return of middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of “The Greatest,” who turned pro in August with a first-round knockout.

The undercard — streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ — will see the return of Olympian Troy Isley (2-0, 1 KO) in a six-rounder at middleweight, Georgia native Haven Brady Jr. (3-0, 3 KOs) in a four-round featherweight tilt, and the A-Town debut of junior middleweight prospect Evan “Yung Holy” Holyfield (7-0, 5 KOs), an Atlanta native and the son of heavyweight legend Evander Holyfield.

Tickets go on sale TOMORROW, Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased at

At Thursday’s kickoff press conference, this is what Top Rank chairman Bob Arum and the fighters had to say.

Bob Arum

“We have the champion, Jamel Herring, who is a real tough, tough guy. You don’t serve two tours of duty as a Marine in Iraq unless you’re a tough guy. The knock on Jamel had been he didn’t have much punching power. But he showed that he did when he recently stopped the great {Carl} Frampton. I know that he is poised and ready for this fight, and you’ll see ‘The Fighting Marine’ in action. Now, it’s no easy task for him because he faces the young man that many of us in boxing have been touting for years as being the new face of boxing, the new star in boxing, the guy who will beat everybody on his way to superstar glory. And so far, Shakur Stevenson has demonstrated that ability. He knows this is a tough fight, but he always comes prepared. I guarantee you all that you will be seeing a tremendous, competitive main event on Oct. 23.”

Jamel Herring

“I look at every fight different. This fight is no easier than any fight I’ve had in the past. I always gave Shakur his respect. I know what I’m going up against, but that’s what motivates me to go in the gym and do what I have to do. I don’t take anyone lightly. It’s familiar territory and another day in the life of Jamel Herring. That’s just how it is.”

“They’re making Shakur out to be the future superstar, but again, maybe he will be a future star in his own right, but right now, we’re focusing on the now. I still feel like I have things to prove to myself, and I’m just going to go out and do what I have to do.”

“Lately, Atlanta has been growing as another city for boxing. It’s great to just not be in a ‘bubble.’ It’s great to actually have fans in attendance for a change. The fans do play a huge part, especially in these big fights. Sometimes you need that crowd to push you and get you riled up. I believe Atlanta will have that great atmosphere that both of us will feed upon on Oct. 23.”

“We both have something to prove in our own rights. He’s young, and he wants to be a two-division champion, which I respect. I feel like I’ve always been counted out. I’m still just fighting for my respect. That’s what keeps me motivated and hungry. I think this fight will bring out the best in both of us.”

Shakur Stevenson

“It’s an amazing opportunity to be back here fighting for another world title. My last world title, I fought in October (2019 against Joet Gonzalez). This world title, I fight in October. It’s going to be no different. I’m coming here to dominate. Jamel is a solid fighter. He has a great team around him, but it’s going to be my night. That’s how I feel.”

“{Jamel} is a just a friend of my family. He’s not my friend. He’s not nobody I talk to outside of boxing. We don’t got no relationship outside of boxing. He’s somebody I see around. He messes with the same people I mess with. Other than that, we’re not friends. I’ve never really been his friend. He’s cool people. I don’t got no problem with him at all. It ain’t like I check up on him when I’m not fighting or he checks up on me. I don’t consider that a friend.

“At the end of the day, I’m coming in there to handle business, and I’m going to make sure I win.”


Shakur Stevenson said it would be one-sided, and he stayed true to his word, rolling past Namibian knockout artist Jeremiah Nakathila via unanimous decision (120-107, 3x) to win the vacant WBO interim junior lightweight world title Saturday at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Nakathila (21-2, 17 KOs) had the height and reach advantage but little else to trouble Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs), a former featherweight world champion looking to conquer a second weight division.

Stevenson knocked down Nakathila with a lightning-fast right hook in the fourth round, and the one-way traffic continued into the second half of the fight.

The knockout did not come, and Stevenson had to settle for the one-sided decision. With Nakathila out of the way, he has bigger names in mind.

Stevenson said, “To be honest, I didn’t really like my performance. I felt I could’ve performed a lot better, but it was an awkward fighter. You had an awkward fighter throwing hard punches, and he knows how to grab and get away. He was a real awkward fighter. That’s all.”

“I tried to {get him out of there} a little bit, but I started getting hit with some solid shots. I ain’t really like it, but next time I’m going to work on moving my head a little bit more and step it up a little more.”

“If I had the choice, I’d take Oscar Valdez, but if I had to beat up Jamel {Herring} to get to it, I’ll do that, too.”

Vacant WBO Intercontinental Lightweight Championship title Félix Verdejo vs. Masayoshi Nakatani on Saturday @ MGM Grand Las Vegas. TV: ESPN/ESPN Deportes at 10pm ET / 7pm PT. #StevensonClary

Felix Verdejo

“Everything has gone very well since I have been training with {Ismael} Salas in Las Vegas. The change has been from heaven to earth. I’ve seen the changes in me. I am in excellent condition.”

“I have confidence in my skills and on the work I have done, but I don’t overlook any opponent.”

Masayoshi Nakatani

“I’m not worried about the long inactivity. I’ve been training hard.”

“Fights outside of Japan, strong punches are important, and I want to focus on that for this fight.”

“Boxing is not fought with height. It is all about the punches, and that’s why I’m coming to knock him out.”

Photo by M. Williams / Top Rank

UNBEATEN WBO European Jr. Lightweight Champion Archie Sharp believes he is already a world-level talent and has sensationally called out American superstars Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson.

The Welling fighter will be protecting both his 18-0 unbeaten record and his WBO European Super-Featherweight crown on Saturday night when he steps in the ring against Tottenham man Jeff Ofori.

A supremely confident Sharp believes he is well-placed to steal the show and puts much of that down to the work he has been doing with his ‘mind coach’, Linda.

“With Linda, my mind coach, we’ve been working on a lot of programs. Mentally, I’m the strongest I’ve ever been.”

It’s not a secret that the ‘Sharpshooter’ has sought the unorthodox methods of mind coach Linda Keen before, but Archie believes that the current coronavirus situation has made her input even more crucial to his fight preparations.

“Being mentally strong is the most important thing for what we’ve been going through,” he explained. “Im buzzing to be back. My batteries are recharged and I’m ready to go and put a show on.”

To many boxing fans, Saturday’s scrap between Sharp and Ofori is the sleeper candidate for fight-of-the-night and most believe that 30-year-old Ofori will present a stiff challenge for the younger champion.

Sharp doesn’t see it that way.

“I believe I’m at world level now.

“I’ve got a lot of heart, I’ve got a granite chin and I can punch. My footwork and my movement have always been unbelievable and on the 15th August you’re going to see a lot more of that.”

Archie accepts that Ofori will try and push the action when the pair clash on Saturday night, but believes “everyone has a plan till they get in there”.

“This fella I’m fighting, Jeff Ofori, is going to be coming like a man possessed” he admits, but says “I’m in the best shape ever and for sure I’m going to be looking at stealing the show.”

Whilst there is clearly business to take care of on BT Sport on Saturday night, Archie is a man who knows his own mind and knows where he wants to take his career.

“I want to be the best in this game” he said, adding “Carl Frampton is the main man on the show and that’s a fight I’m looking at.

“Ideally, I just want to fight the WBO world champion and at the minute that’s Jamal Herring.”

Frampton and Herring are two big names to have in your crosshairs, but the ambitious ‘Sharpshooter’ doesn’t want to stop there.

“Shakur Stevenson can have it as well.”

BT Sport Fight Night Live: Frampton vs Traynor is this Saturday night / coverage starts at 8pm on BT Sport 2

WBO titlists included in ESPN’s rising stars list:

Former WBO Featherweight World Champion Shakur “Newark” Stevenson, former WBO Jr. Middleweight World Champion Jaime Munguia, current WBO Mini-Flyweight World Champion Wilfredo ‘Bimbito’ Méndez, current WBO Jr. Flyweight Champion Elwin Soto are included in ESPN’s Top 25 under 25, where the sports network lists the rising stars of Boxing.

Also included are former WBO/NABO Lightweight Champion Ryan Garcia, former WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight Champion Devin Haney, WBO International Featherweight Champion Rubén Villa, WBO International Heavyweight Champion Daniel Dubois, WBO Middleweight ranked #12 Edgar Berlanga, WBO Jr. Lightweight ranked #13 Lamont Roach,Jr, WBO Flyweight ranked #3 Junto Nakatani.

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Both asked to become top challenger in their new divisions

Undefeated star Shakur Stevenson and Mexican warrior Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete officially relinquished their World Boxing Organization Championship Titles and requested to become number one ranked challengers in their new weigh divisions.

Shakur won the Featherweight Championship last October 26, defeating then undefeated Joet González by unanimous decision in Reno, Nevada.

On July 7, Shakur wrote to the WBO to notify this sanctioning body that he was having serious difficulties making the division’s 126-pound limit. Because of this, he decided to move up in weight requested to be ranked in the Junior Lightweight (130 pound) division, where Jamel Herring is the current WBO ruler.

“I look forward in the very near future to fighting for another World Championship within the WBO,” Stevenson, silver medalist in the 2016 Olympic Games said in his email to the WBO.

WBO President Francisco Valcárcel Mulero, Esq. said that Shakur will become the number one challenger at 130 pounds.

Meanwhile, Navarrete’s advisor, Guillermo Brito Rodríguez wrote to the WBO on July 11 to notify that ‘Vaquero” was relinquishing his WBO Junior Featherweight Title and moving up to the Featherweight division for similar reasons.

Navarrete was crowned WBO 122-pound World Champion December 8, 2018 with an impressive unanimous decision victory over then-undefeated titlist Isaac Dogboe, of Ghana. He then knocked him out in the immediate rematch. In total, “Vaquero” successfully defended his crown five times.

In his email, Brito Rodríguez requested that Navarrete be named the top challenger at his new division.

Regarding Navarrete, Valcárcel said that he will also be ranked number one contender and could face the highest available contender for the vacant title. He mentioned Irish Olympian Michael Conlan, former Champion Jesse Magdaleno, and Rubén Villa as possible opponents.

At only 23 years of age, Shakur, who was considered the brightest star in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, has shown great potential as a young champion in the professional ranks with a blend of impressive speed, great technique, and natural instincts inside the ring.

Navarrete, 25 years-old, is a proud member of the great Mexican school of boxing, and uses his formidable conditioning, relentless pressure, and solid skills to defeat his opponents.

Valcárcel said that with a bit of luck, Shakur and Navarrete will again be fighting for the WBO title soon.

Shakur Stevenson turned 23-years-old today, and he’s looking to make big things happen this year for him at 130. Although Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs) still hasn’t vacated his WBO 126-lb title, he’s expected to do that now that he’s made his debut against super featherweight.

Stevenson stopped Felix Caraballo in the sixth round on June 9 in sending a message to the 130-pounders like Miguel Berchelt, Oscar Valdez, Jamel Herring, and Leo Santa Cruz. Shakur says he wants to fight Berchelt and Santa Cruz. He’s also interested in facing WBA lightweight champion Gervonta Davis one of these days.

Stevenson’s promoters at Top Rank Boxing aren’t pressuring him to move at a fast pace. The head of the company Bob Arum would like to see him face IBF 126-lb champion Josh Warrington before leaving the division, but that fight doesn’t look like it’s in the cards.

Warrington wants to fight secondary WBA featherweight champion Can Xu next, and who knows who else he’ll wish to after that?

Hitchens Impressed By Shakur’s Body Punching

“The bodywork was tremendous,” said 2016 Olympian Richardson Hitchins to Fighthype on Shakur Stevenson’s recent win over Felix Caraballo. “He definitely showed a lot of growth as a pro, and he’s touching the body a lot more now.

“He’s doing what he has to do with a guy like that. That’s what he’s supposed to do against a guy like that. Get him out of there. Certain fighters don’t want to take that risk [of fighting better opposition], and certain fighters are ready to take that risk, but the money isn’t compensated right,” said Hitchens.

The body punching that Shakur Stevenson did in his victory over Felix Caraballo was impressive, as it showed a different side of his game. He was no longer fighting with the Terence Crawford style, which is how he usually fights, and he morphed into Andre Ward.

The Ward style of fighting might be the better one for Stevenson because he’s not the puncher that Crawford is, and he has a better chance of scoring knockouts that way.

The shots that Shakur landed upstairs against Caraballo did nothing to him because his power isn’t formidable when going to the head. But like Ward, Stevenson showed that he be a knockout threat when he attacks his opponent’s body.

Time Is On Shakur Stevenson’s Side
“So it’s about timing,” said Hitchins on Shakur. “Whoever they put in front of him or whoever they put in front of anybody. You’re going to do what you’re supposed to do with them. Whether it’s a tough fight, competitive fight, or an easy fight, you’re going to do what you’re supposed to do and get your check and go home.

Shakur Stevenson
“As I said, we’re still young at 22 and 23-years-old. So time is on our side right now. And do we don’t have to [take risks]? I don’t think he should be in the ring fighting someone like Gary Russell Jr or any big fight.

“I think he should get more experience and fight top guys, but not top guys that are a risk. Hopefully, by the time he’s [Shakur Stevenson] is 24 or 25, he’ll be ready for the big fights,” said Hitchins on Stevenson.

Stevenson indeed has the age on his side right now heading into the 130-lb division. He’s considerably younger than the top fighters in the division like Miguel Berchelt, Valdez, Santa Cruz, and Herring. However, Stevenson will need to be able to raise his game considerably for him to beat those guys.

At times during the Caraballo fight, Stevenson looked slow on his feet, and his speed wasn’t that great. Moreover, he wasn’t throwing a lot of shots, and he was looking for the perfect time to let his hands go.

That style works against lower-level fighters like Caraballo, but it’s not going to be effective against the elite in the division.

Via Sean Jones /

WBO president Frabcisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel,Esq. revealed last Saturday night that if 122-pound champion Emanuel Navarrete moves up to 126, he’ll be #1 in the division and possibly challenge for the title right away.

In a stay busy fight last Saturday night, Navarrete stopped Uriel Lopez (13-14-1, 6 KOs) in the sixth round at the Gimnasio TV Azteca, in Mexico City. Navarrete toyed with Lopez for four rounds before turning on the heat and knocking him down in rounds five and six with body shots.

The reference mercifully stopped the slaughter after Lopez was put down for the second time in the fight in the sixth. The 25-year-old Navarrete put on a body punching clinic with his showcase fight against Lopez, and that made it an entertaining contest to watch.

Navarrete has an old school style of fighting that is interesting to watch, considering most fighters nowadays are strictly headhunters that ignore the body.

Navarrete Can Fight For WBO 126-Lb Title Right Away

Valcarcel says Navarrete (31-1, 27 KOs) can battle for the WBO featherweight belt IF the current champion Shakur Stevenson opts to move up in weight to 130, something he recently talked about last week. It’s not clear what the 22-year-old Stevenson will do, though.

Shakur wants to move up if he can get a fight against one of the top guys are 130, but the fighters that he wants to face are already busy. In that case, Stevenson could choose to remain at 126 if he can get a fight against someone like IBF champ Josh Warrington. It might not interest Stevenson to face 25-year-old Navarrete because he doesn’t have a title, and the match wouldn’t be as huge as it could be later.

“If @vaqueronavarre1 [Emanuel Navarrete] decides to move up to 126 he will be #1 in that division, 3 possible opponents, [Michael] Conlan, Ruben Vila and [Jessie] Magdaleno if @ShakurStevenson
move up,” said WBO president PacoValcarcel on his Twitter.

These are the fighters WBO president Paco Valcarcel says Navarrete can face potentially for the vacant WBO 126-pound title:

Michael Conlan
Ruben Villa
Jessie Magdaleno

2016 Olympian Michael Conlan (13-0, 7 KOs) is the #1 ranked contender with the World Boxing Organization at 126. The 28-year-old Conlan will be the guy in the spotlight if Navarrete moves up to 126. However, it’s believed that Conlan will pass on the fight.

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Writer: Jeff Aronow

The return of championship boxing in the United States now has a matchup, date and network.

A fight pitting WBO Featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson against Rafael Rivera is in the process of being finalized for June 9 in Las Vegas in the main event of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN, sources tell The Athletic. The event will end the boxing hiatus imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Jose Ramirez-Viktor Postol fight, scheduled for Feb. 2, was the first boxing event canceled by the coronavirus, but that bout was set to take place in the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Several boxing events were held stateside afterward as the U.S. continued business as usual. Stevenson was in New York for his scheduled fight against Miguel Marriaga on ESPN when the NBA and NHL delayed its season. One day later, on March 12, Top Rank pulled the plug on Stevenson-Marriaga, slated to take place at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on March 14.

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WBO Featherweight World Champion Shakur Stevenson was born and bred in Newark, a.k.a. “Brick City,” the oldest of nine children who dreamed of one day becoming a world champion and using his platform to give back to his community.

Stevenson, who won the title last October, will defend his belt for the first time Saturday from Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden against Miguel Marriaga (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). He joined forces with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Wednesday at the city’s Rotunda Recreation & Wellness Center to talk to a large group of local children about his journey from hometown kid to Olympic silver medalist and world champion.

Stevenson autographed posters, took photos, and gave each child an official Team Stevenson headband. Three days before his bout against Marriaga, Stevenson was all smiles and laughs, a champion embracing his celebratory homecoming.

“When I was younger, I didn’t have anyone to come and do something like this for me,” Stevenson said. “This means a lot to me. That’s why I enjoy coming here, and I will always try to come back to where it all started. You all make me feel good, and when I do something good, I do it for Newark.”

“Shakur Stevenson is a Newark native who has brought honor, Olympic glory, and a world championship to our city,” Mayor Baraka said. “Now he is bringing an inspiring message of hope, good sportsmanship, and empowerment to Newark’s youth, as a role model and exemplar. He defines the strength of Newark, and we are proud of him.”

Shakur Stevenson, the 22-year-old phenom on the cusp of pound-for-pound greatness, will make the first defense of his WBO Featherweight world title Saturday, March 14, against three-time world title challenger Miguel “Escorpión” Marriaga at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Three days later, Irish featherweight Michael “Mick” Conlan will make his annual St. Patrick’s Day pilgrimage at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in a 10-rounder against hard-charging Colombian veteran Belmar Preciado.

The Stevenson-Marriaga co-feature will see former junior featherweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno fight the unbeaten Sakaria Lukas in a 10-round featherweight showdown. Stevenson-Marriaga and Magdaleno-Lukas will be televised LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

Conlan-Preciado and a 10-round female super featherweight showdown between the unbeaten Mikaela Mayer and former featherweight world champion Melissa Hernandez will stream live in English and Spanish on ESPN+ beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets for the Stevenson-Marriaga and Conlan-Preciado cards are priced at $200, $100, $70, $40 and $30 (not including applicable fees) and go on sale Friday, Feb. 7 at 12 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at or

For a limited time, when purchasing a ticket online to one of these cards, you will then be given the option to purchase discounted tickets to the other event.

“What a great two nights of boxing on ESPN and ESPN+, as we get to see Shakur Stevenson defend his title against the big-punching Marriaga and Mick Conlan continue one of boxing’s great traditions,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “New York is going to turn out in force to watch two of boxing’s great young stars.”

Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs), the pride of “Brick City”, Newark, N.J., was the first male boxer from the 2016 Rio Olympics to win a professional world title. Last October, he bested Joet Gonzalez via unanimous decision to win the vacant WBO featherweight world title. The Gonzalez win punctuated a banner year for the Olympic silver medalist, who also defeated former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz on the Terence Crawford-Amir Khan PPV undercard. Last July, he headlined an ESPN telecast in front of an adoring hometown crowd of more than 5,000 at Prudential Center, knocking out Alberto Guevara in three rounds.

“We’ve been trying to make this fight with Miguel Marriaga for a long time now,” Stevenson said. “I wanted a strong opponent for my first title defense. He’s been in the ring with multiple world champions, and I am ready to prove that I am the best featherweight in the world. This is my fourth fight at Madison Square Garden, but my first as a world champion, and it will be my best performance yet. I know all of my East Coast fans will come out and support on March 14.”

Marriaga (29-3, 25 KOs), one of the division’s hardest punchers, is hoping the fourth time’s a charm. He fell short in previous world title challenges against Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oscar Valdez and Nicholas Walters, but he’s riding a four-bout winning streak (all by KO). He last fought in December 2019, knocking out Alfredo Mejia Vargas with a body shot. A native of Arjona, Colombia, he’s been scouting Stevenson as a potential foe.

“I always wanted this fight, and the time is right now that he’s a world champion,” Marriaga said. “He speaks often about how people are ducking him, but here I am. Colombia will have a new world champion March 14.”

WBO Inter-Continental Featherweight Champion Conlan (13-0, 7 KOs) has made Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden his professional home, as he turned pro in front of a sold-out St. Patrick’s Day crowd there back in 2017. In the years since, he has graduated from prospect to contender, as he’s the No. 1 contender for the title held by Stevenson. He went 3-0 in 2019, including a decision win in December over Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin. Preciado (20-2-1, 13 KOs) will be making his third ring appearance outside of his native Colombia, and he has won two in a row since a KO loss to former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa.

“I’m honored to return to the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, and fight for the fourth straight St. Patrick’s Day,” Conlan said. “I know how tough Preciado is, but this fight is a great test as I continue on my path towards becoming a world champion. Fighting in New York City is very special for me. The fans have been very supportive right from the beginning at my pro debut on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017, and I look forward to putting on another tremendous show for them this year.”

“The fans will be there to see Conlan, but mark my words, they will remember me,” Preciado said. “I am more than just another ‘opponent.’ When I win, I won’t be surprised. I am prepared for a hard 10 rounds.”

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Upcoming WBO Bouts

💥January 25, 2020 – Vacant WBO Intercontinental Jr. Featherweight Championship Arnold Khegai vs. Stephen Fulton @ Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY. Live on SHOWTIME.

💥January 28, 2020 – Vacant WBO Female Mini-Flyweight World Championship Etsuko Tada Vs. Ayaka Miyao @ Korakuen Hall, Japan.

💥January 30, 2020 – WBO Middleweight World Champion Demetrius Andrade Vs. Luke Keeler & WBO Latino Super Middleweight Championship Roamer Alexis Angulo vs. Anthony Sims, Jr. @ Meridian at Island Gardens, Miami, Florida. Live on DAZN.

💥January 31, 2020 – WBO International Featherweight Champion Ruben Villa Vs. Alexei Collado @ Hirsch Coliseum, Shreveport, Louisiana. Live on Showtime.

💥January 31, 2020 – Vacant WBO Latino Jr. Flyweight Championship title Israel Vazquez vs. Rene Santiago. Vacant NABO Featherweight Championship title Pedro Marquez vs. Juan Carlos Peña @ Cancha Ruben Zayas Montañez, Trujillo Alto, PR

💥January 31, 2020 – WBO Global Jr. Featherweight Champion Wasiru Mohammed Vs. John Amuzu @ Bukom Boxing Arena, Accra.

💥February 1, 2020 – Vacant WBO International Welterweight Championship: Sergey Vorobiev Vs. Karen Chukhadzhyan @ Yantarny Sports Palace, Kaliningrad, Russia.

💥February 2, 2020 – Vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Championship Zulipikaer Maimaitiali Vs. Sung Jae Jo @ Mission Hills Resort Haikou Hainan, China.

💥February 8, 2020 – WBO Mini-Flyweight World Champion Wilfredo Méndez battles Gabriel Mendoza. Vacant WBO Latino Jr. Bantamweight Championship Orlando “El Jaguar” Peñalba Vs. Keyver Fernández at Hotel El Panama in Panama city.

💥February 8, 2020 – Vacant WBO Female Jr. Welterweight Championship: Christina Linardatou vs. Prisca Vicot & Vacant NABO Female Lightweight Championship: Jessica Camara vs. Melissa St. Vil @ Hammond Civic Center Hammond, United States

💥February 8, 2020 – Vacant WBO Intercontinental Jr. Middleweight Championship title: Kell Brook vs. Mark DeLuca @ Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK

💥February 15, 2020 – Vacant WBO Latino Lightweight Championship: José Sánchez Vs. Javier José Clavero @ Club México, Santiago de Chile.

💥February 20, 2020 – WBO NABO Jr. Welterweight Champion Yomar Alamo Vs. Kendo Castaneda @ Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, Florida. Live on Telemundo

💥February 20, 2020 – Vacant WBO European Featherweight Championship David Oliver Joyce Vs. Lee Haskins @ Ulster Hall, Belfast. live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV worldwide.

💥February 21, 2020 – Vacant WBO NABO Junior Flyweight Championship: Jonathan González Vs. Saúl Juarez @ Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida. TV: Telemundo.

💥February 29, 2020 – Vacant WBO Oriental Supper Middleweight Championship: Jayde Mitchell Vs. Istvan Szili. Live on Fox Sports 506.

💥March 7, 2020 – WBO European Middleweight Champion Danny Dignum Vs. Alfredo Meli @ Brentwood Centre, Brentwood, Essex, United Kingdom. Live on ESPN +.

💥March 7, 2020 – WBO Female Jr. Lightweight World Champion Ewa Brodnicka faces Djemilla “The Pitbull” Gontaruk @ Dzierżoniów.

💥March 7, 2020 – NABO Heavyweight Champion Frank Sánchez Faure vs. JoeyDawejko @ Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY. TV: PBC on FOX

💥March 7, 2020 – WBO Global Jr. Welterweight Champion Liam Paro Vs. James Chereji. Vacant WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight Championship Demsey McKean Vs. Jonathan Rice. WBO Oriental Lightweight Champion Jacob Ng Vs. Valentine Hosokawa @ The Star, Gold Coast, Australia.

💥March 14, 2020 – WBO Featherweight World Champion Shakur Stevenson Vs. Miguel Marriaga @ MSG’s Hulu Theater, NY. Live on ESPN

💥March 17, 2020 – WBO Female Mini-Flyweight Championship title Mika Iwakawa vs. Nanae Suzuki @ Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan.

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. presented WBO Featherweight Boxing Champion and Newark native Shakur Stevenson with the Key to Essex County during a spirited ceremony on Wednesday, January 8th.

“Shakur Stevenson has dedicated himself to his boxing career, earning accolades at the highest levels – an Olympic Silver Medal and several professional featherweight title belts. Throughout his successful run, he has never forgotten his hometown, reminding boxing fans of his Newark roots by wearing the city’s name on his trunks and headband. His pride in Newark and Essex County, and his tireless work ethic are inspirations to our young residents and demonstrate that through hard work they can achieve anything,” DiVincenzo said.

“When I fight, I think of Newark and all the kids who look up to me. I am trying to become better than I am now; I’m still motivated and I thank you for this award and for coming out to support me today,” Stevenson said.

“You have had an enormous opportunity to show the world what Newark is about and who we are. I encourage you to stay focused because this is a long-term venture. The work ethic that goes into being a champion is extraordinary, so you should feel proud,” NJ State Senator and Deputy Chief of Staff Teresa Ruiz said.

“We are so proud of what you have accomplished, especially how you give back to the community and make yourself accessible to young people,” Freeholder Vice President Wayne Richardson said. “Newark is a fantastic city, but what is even better is the fact that it produces such remarkable people like Shakur,” Freeholder Patricia Sebold said. “We like to highlight residents who have achieved greatness. To see what you have accomplished will inspire all young people to work hard and emulate what you have done,” Freeholder Len Luciano said.

“We are all very proud of you. You are Newark and you have a piece of every ward in your body,” Sheriff Armando Fontoura said.

Along with the Key to Essex County, DiVincenzo presented Mr. Stevenson with a plaque, which states: “Born and raised in the City of Newark, Shakur Stevenson started to box at the age of 5. He was an exceptional youth competitor, with his amateur career pinnacling at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, where he took home a Silver Medal. Now a professional, Shakur has continued to impress. Along with an undefeated record, he’s become the international face of featherweight boxing, earning the IBF Intercontinental, WBC Continental, WBO NABO and, most recently, the WBO title belts. This success has led analysts to compare Shakur to several legendary boxing greats. With all his achievements, he remains connected to and proud of his roots, wearing the name of his hometown on his boxing trunks and visiting schools, community centers and senior programs to inspire others. He is role model for all of us, showing that no matter from where you come, through hard work, you can become the best.”

At just 22 years of age, Stevenson has had a successful career in the boxing ring. He started boxing at the age of 5 and his amateur career culminated with him winning the Silver Medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. He currently has an undefeated record of 13-0 with seven knockouts as a professional and is the featherweight champion for the IBF Intercontinental, WBC Continental, WBO NABO and the WBO. He won the WBO title belt in October 2019.

By Tehsuan Glover /

Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank

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Shakur Stevenson is a world champion. The former Olympic medalist displayed all his boxing skills and completely neutralized Joet Gonzalez (his girlfriend’s brother) to conquer the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight title in front of 2,828 fans at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Stevenson became the first Team USA male fighter of the 2016 Rio Olympics to conquer a world title.

“This is a great feeling. One of the best feelings of my life,” said Stevenson. “I have a lot of respect for Joet. He is a great fighter. I have nothing against him. If he decides to be cool with me, I’ll be cool with him.”

Stevenson already knows what he wants the next challenge in his career to be.

“Josh Warrington! You are a champion, now I am a champion. Let’s do this! I want to unify titles.”

The vacant WBO Featherweight World Title bout between Shakur Stevenson and Joet Gonzalez is boxing’s version of the Hatfields and McCoys, a long-simmering grudge match that will be settled Saturday evening at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Stevenson (12-0, 7 KOs) is looking to become the first 2016 Olympian to win a major world title, while Gonzalez (23-0, 14 KOs) hopes to pull off the upset against his biggest nemesis.

At the final press conference Thursday, this is what the fighters had to say.

Shakur Stevenson

On Bob Arum’s praise and taking the short track to a world title shot

“That means the world {to me}. I feel like that’s the harder route. I feel like you could say whatever you want, but I feel like going pro and fighting a bunch of bums early in your career, I feel like that’s the easy route. I feel like I went to the Olympics and fought the higher level of competition, and that’s the reason I am who I am today.”

To Gonzalez: “I also think in 2012 when he was fighting them bums, I was a freshman in high school at the time, bro. So I understand why you’re mad at me, bro. It’s all good.”

Gonzalez’s response: “Ain’t nobody mad at you. Just show up Saturday and come to fight.”

On Joet’s experience

“I’m not sleeping on him. If I’m being honest, I always said Joet was good. Go look at my Tweets from two, three months ago. I always said he’s a good fighter. He was the one who got up there and said Shakur was overrated. Saturday, he gotta put up everything he said.”

Joet Gonzalez

“I most definitely had the harder road. Like you said, he was an Olympic silver medalist. He got the fast track. He got {a title shot} in two years. It took me seven years. I’ve been pro since 2012, so I’ve had the longer road. I have more experience. I’m older, more mature, and I think that is going to help me out Saturday night.”

“His biggest test, as a pro or an amateur, is obviously for a world title. He’s gonna have to do some crazy thing to beat me because I’m not leaving Saturday without that belt.”

“I’m just anxious because all the hard work, it’s already been done. Now we’re just counting down the days, letting the days go by. Tomorrow will be weigh-ins and Saturday will be fight time.”

Photo by Mikey Williams

WBO World Title Bouts: Shakur Stevenson-Joet Gonzalez and Jamel Herring-Lamont Roach Jr. Highlight Top Rank’s Fall Schedule

October 26: Stevenson and Gonzalez to Battle for Featherweight World Title

Shakur Stevenson is only 22 years old and 12 fights into his pro career. For his first world title shot, he’ll return to the sight of many of his greatest amateur accomplishments. Stevenson will face Joet Gonzalez for the vacant WBO featherweight title Saturday, October 26 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada.

Stevenson and Gonzalez are the WBO’s top two contenders for the belt vacated by Oscar Valdez, who is now campaigning at 130 pounds.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Let’s Get It On Promotions and Golden Boy, Stevenson-Gonzalez and a co-feature will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The entire undercard will stream on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

“I have been working for this moment my entire life, and no one is going to stop me from becoming a world champion,” Stevenson said. “I had some of my biggest amateur moments in Reno, and I can’t wait to win my first world title there. This is my time to show the world that I am the best young fighter in boxing. The Shakur Stevenson era will officially begin on October 26.”

“It’s about time I got my world title shot,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve been asking for this opportunity for a long time. Thanks to my promoter and manager, it is finally here. Shakur Stevenson has done a lot of talking. But I’ll do my talking in the ring with my fists on October 26.”

Stevenson (12-0, 7 KOs), the fighting pride of Newark, New Jersey, turned pro in April 2017 following a standout amateur career that included a 2016 Olympic silver medal for the United States. He is familiar with Reno, having won four national titles in “The Biggest Little City in the World” from 2013-2015, including his triumph at the Olympic Trials. Stevenson returned to Reno as a pro, shutting out Juan Tapia over eight rounds in February 2018 to improve to 5-0. He has fought three times thus far in 2019, including a career-best performance April 20 against former world title challenger Christopher Diaz on the Terence Crawford-Amir Khan pay-per-view undercard. He followed up the unanimous decision over Diaz with a triumphant return to Newark, where more than 5,000 fans packed the Prudential Center for his third-round stoppage over Alberto Guevara.

Gonzalez (23-0, 14 KOs) is a seven-year pro who has the edge in experience, and at 25 years old, is three years older than Stevenson. Like Stevenson, he had a storied amateur career, nearly qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics and winning a U.S. Junior Olympics title. Gonzalez has won three consecutive bouts by knockout since a split decision victory over former world title challenger Rafael Rivera. He last fought July 13 in Carson, California, capturing the WBO Global and WBA Continental America featherweight titles with a sixth-round stoppage over Manuel Avila. Immediately following the Avila bout, he expressed interest in fighting in Stevenson, and the two have since been engaged in a social media back-and-forth. The talking will stop — and the fight will start — on October 26.

November 9: Jamel Herring Set for Ballpark Title Defense Versus Lamont Roach Jr. in Fresno

Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring, the U.S. Marine veteran who upset Masayuki Ito in on Memorial Day weekend to win the WBO junior lightweight title, is set to honor his comrades by returning on Veterans Day weekend.

Herring will make his first title defense against the undefeated Lamont Roach Jr. on Saturday, November 9 at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, home of the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. This is a return engagement for Herring, who fought at Fresno’s Save Mart Center last September and had more than 1,000 active, retired and aspiring service members in the crowd cheering him on.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Golden Boy, Herring-Roach and a co-feature will stream live beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on ESPN+. The undercard will stream on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

“Our camps have gone back and forth, and I’m just ready to get to work,” Herring said. “I have a great team, and Terence Crawford will also be in camp to make sure I’m at my best. Overall, the night means much more than trash-talking, since it’s the weekend of both Veterans Day and the Marine Corps birthday.

“I’m glad to be back in Fresno. I had a huge crowd supporting me last time I fought in the area. I know a victory here will lead to bigger and better things.”

“I know Jamel very well and he knows me,” Roach Jr. said. “I’m super excited, and I’ve been waiting for this moment my entire life. This victory will be only the beginning of my legacy. I’m here for a reason, and I can’t wait to show the world why! I will be the WBO junior lightweight world champion on November 9.”

Herring (20-2, 10 KOs) served two tours of duty with the Marines in Iraq and captained the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team. His pro career stalled with a 1-2 skid from 2016-2017, but after signing with Top Rank and moving down to 130 pounds, he won three straight fights to earn the title shot against Ito. His September 2018 fight against John Vincent Moralde was a particularly special occasion, as dozens of Marines lined the Save Mart Center walkway as Herring made his entrance. He shut out Moralde as the ESPN-televised co-feature, and now he returns to California’s Central Valley ready to put on a clinic under the lights.

Roach (19-0-1, 7 KOs) is one of the best young fighters to emerge from the boxing hotbed of Washington, D.C. in recent years. His only hiccup as a pro — an April 2018 draw against Orlando Cruz in Cruz’s home country of Puerto Rico — was a minor speed bump in what has been an otherwise sterling run up the ranks. He is 3-0 since the Cruz fight, winning a pair of regional belts and putting forth his best performances on high-profile cards. He last fought May 4 on the Canelo Alvarez-Danny Jacobs undercard in Las Vegas, scoring a 10-round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Jonathan Oquendo. Roach is trained by his father, Lamont Roach Sr., who has been the head man in his corner for his past five bouts.

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Luis Batista Salas, Esq.
WBO Championship Committee


As per Section 11 through 14 of the WBO Regulations for World Championship Contests ( and as per promoter’s request, please be advised a Purse Bid will be held at 9:15 a.m. (PST) on Saturday, September 14th 2019, at the following venue: MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel 3799 Las Vegas, Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, United States of America Telephone: +1 (877) 880-0880 E-Mail:

The minimum acceptable bid for the World Featherweight Division is $150,000.00 US Dollars.
In accordance with the WBO Championship Rules & Regulations, the President, Francisco Valcárcel, Esq. will preside over the Purse Bid.

Any additional information, please visit our website at or contact the WBO main office.



Luis Batista Salas, Esq.
WBO Championship Committee

September 5th 2019

VIA EMAIL: Mr. Bob Arum Top Rank Promotions Team Stevenson – Mr. Eric Gomez Golden Boy Promotions Team Gonzalez

Re: Vacant WBO Featherweight Championship Title Contest Shakur Stevenson vs. Joet Gonzalez

As per Section 11 through 14 of the enclosed copy of the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests (, please be advised that a Purse Bid will be held at 9:15 a.m. (PST) on Saturday, September 14th, 2019, at the following venue:

MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
Lobby Area
3799 S Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Telephone: +1 (877) 880-0880

Pursuant with our WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests on Purse Bid procedures, be advised on the following:

The minimum acceptable bid for the WBO Featherweight Division is $150,000.00 (One Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars).

WBO President Francisco Valcárcel, Esq., will preside purse bid proceedings.

Kindly note the following provisions:
1. If any of the WBO Contenders suffers an injury and depending on the type of injury and the needed recovery time, or refuses to fight or is unavailable to participate, the WBO World Championship Committee will determine and select the next available contender in accordance with the WBO and ABC Ratings Criteria, and issue any further ruling accordingly.
2. Signed contracts shall be filed with the WBO Offices within five (5) days from the adjudication of the Purse Bid.
3. Bout shall be held no later than ninety (90) days nor earlier than forty-five (45) days from the adjudication of the bid.
4. For purposes of the applicable Purse Bid rules, the State which each contender is a resident will be considered and enforced accordingly.
5. The Purse for WBO Championship Contests held and completed pursuant to Purse Bid procedures shall be distributed as follows:



(A) In fights for a Vacant Title or Eliminatory Fights (except in the case where one of the contestants is a Super Champion in which case the Super Champion provision for purse bid division shall apply) the distribution is as follows:

(B) If the fight is held in the country of origin, residence or nationality of one of the contenders, the resident contestant shall receive 40% and his opponent shall receive 60% of the total purse offered.

(C) If the fight is held in a neutral place or if the contenders are from the same country of origin, residence or nationality, in such a way that neither have an advantage over the other, the purse shall be divided in equal parts between the contenders. USA Residents shall consider of the same country of residence, regardless of which State they reside for Purse Bid purposes.

Yours truly,

Luis Batista Salas, Esq.

Cc: Francisco Valcárcel, Esq./President
Carl Moretti/Top Rank Promotions


Luis Batista Salas, Esq.

Chairman WBO Championship Committee

August 6th 2019



Re: Vacant WBO Featherweight Championship Contest Shakur Stevenson vs. Joet Gonzalez


Please be advised the parties have thirty (30) days upon receipt of this letter to negotiate and reach an agreement regarding the Vacant WBO Featherweight Championship Contest between Shakur Stevenson and Joet Gonzalez. If an accord is not reached within the time frame set forth herein, a Purse Bid will be ordered pursuant with the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.

The minimum acceptable bid for the WBO Featherweight Division is $150,000.00 (One Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars). Any of the parties involved may request a purse bid procedure at any time during the negotiation process.

Yours truly,



Luis Batista Salas, Esq.

Cc: Francisco Valcárcel, Esq.
President Carl Moretti/Top Rank

Ever since he turned pro following the 2016 Olympics, featherweight contender Shakur Stevenson wanted to return home to Newark. In front of 5,150 fans at Prudential Center, Stevenson, the WBO No. 1 contender, knocked out two-time world title challenger Alberto “Metro” Guevara (27-5, 12 KOs) in the third round of a scheduled 10-rounder for the WBO NABO belt.

“That was a great performance I put on for the city of Newark. Top Rank, y’all all have to give me better competition I want the IBF and WBO {titles}. I would love to go to England to fight Josh Warrington,” Stevenson said. “I surprised myself today. I was going to the body a lot. I saw him at the weigh-in. He didn’t look like he was in shape.

“There is only one way to describe tonight – amazing! Seeing all of my family, friends and everybody from the city come out to support me was incredible.”

Stevenson (12-0, 7 KOs) dominated the opening round, scored a pair of knockdowns in the second and finished things off with a knockdown in the third. It was a short, brutal and just what the crowd wanted.

Greer Jr. Edges Potapov

The knockout didn’t come, but bantamweight Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer Jr. ultimately got the job done. Greer (21-1-1, 12 KOs), the Chicago-born bantamweight puncher, bested Nikolai Potapov by majority decision (114-114, 115-113 and 116-112) to the earn the WBO NABO belt.

Greer swept the 12th round on all three judges’ scorecards to secure the win in what was a tactical affair. Potapov (20-2-1, 11 KOs) snapped Greer’s seven-bout KO streak, with some ringside observers believing he did enough to pull off the upset.

“He’s very awkward with the Russian style. But at the end of the day, this is the pros. And at the end of the day, I pulled it out,” Greer said. “The booing didn’t bother me. I know I won the fight. Every time I hit him to the body, I hurt him. I didn’t get the knockout, but I got the win. Next time out, you’ll see the pillow again.”

Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank

NEWARK, N.J. (July 11, 2019) – It was a press conference befitting a Newark King. Mayor Ras Baraka was on hand, as well as a large contingent of media from Northern New Jersey and New York.

WBO NABO Featherweight Champion Shakur Stevenson, Newark’s favorite son and a 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, is ready for his homecoming.

WBO. No. 1 featherweight contender Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs) will face Alberto Guevara (27-4, 12 KOs) in the 10-round main event Saturday evening at Prudential Center (ESPN/ESPN DEPORTES, 10:30 p.m. ET). In the televised co-feature, for the vacant WBO NABO Bantamweight title, Chicago native Joshua Greer Jr. (20-1-1, 12 KOs) will look to make it eight knockouts in a row versus Nikolai Potapov (20-1-1, 11 KOs).

In front of a packed Newark house, this is what the fighters had to say.

Shakur Stevenson

“It means everything to me being that this was a dream of mine to come here to the Prudential Center and fight in front of the hometown, my home crowd, family, friends. I’m happy to be here, and it means everything to me.”

“I’m not overlooking him. Honestly, I’m not going to let you {Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher} put no pressure on me either [smiles}. I feel like I’m going to go in there, box my fight and have fun. I’m going to let everything take care of itself.”

Alberto Guevara

“I know Shakur is a tough fighter, but I want to prove that I can do more in boxing. All of my experience will show on Saturday night.”

“I have a lot of experience as an amateur and a pro. My experience will be important in this fight.”

Joshua Greer Jr.

“This means everything to me. You asked {Nikolai} a way to beat me. The only way to beat me is to kill me because I’m not giving him nothing.”

“I work hard. I leave no stone unturned. Me and my coach work hard day in, day out. I make the sacrifices.”

“I’m dedicating this fight – my whole career, basically – to Ed Brown, who was 20-0 with 16 knockouts. He got killed in Chicago {in 2016}, and I know that we got Ed Browns everywhere, even in Newark, so I’m just bringing awareness to the situation.”

“Shakur is like a brother to me. He calls me his brother. If I call you my brother, I mean that. Him, his family, his grandfather, the way that they’ve been to me since I’ve been out here, his people, Newark. I mean, they treat me like a king out here. I wouldn’t have it no other way if Shakur was to come to Chicago.”

Nikolai Potapov

“I’ve been wanting this fight. I’ve been looking at this fight and watching {Greer’s fights}. I feel great. Everything with the weight cut has gone well, so I can’t wait to get started on Saturday night. That’s it. I’m excited.”

“I’m happy that Joshua has been following my career and that he wants to knock me out. We’ll see on Saturday night how he’s going to do it.”

“I don’t want to predict too much. He’s a very tough fighter, so there will be a lot of punches, a lot of movement. It’s going to be a very interesting fight to watch.”

Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank

WBO NABO Champion Shakur Stevenson to Battle Former World Title Challenger Alberto Guevara LIVE on ESPN

Two WBO NABO fights: Stevenson-Guevara and Joshua Greer Jr.-Nikolai Potapov to be televised LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT

The entire undercard will stream live on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets priced at $100, $75, $50 and $25 (not including applicable fees) are on sale now and can be purchased at, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 and in person at the Prudential Center box office.

“I give Alberto Guevara credit for taking this fight when so many fighters won’t step into the ring with me,” Stevenson said. “He’s been in there with some great fighters, even world champions, but nothing can prepare him for me. No matter the opponent, I am going to put on a special performance for my hometown and everyone watching on ESPN on July 13.”

“When I was offered this fight, I did not hesitate. I want to fight the best, and Shakur Stevenson is a very good young fighter,” Guevara said. “The hometown crowd will not phase me. I’m coming to shock the boxing world.”

Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs), the WBO No. 1 contender, returned from the 2016 Rio Olympics as one of the sport’s most highly touted prospects. He graduated from prospect to contender status in 2018, knocking out longtime contender Viorel Simion in one round as the ESPN-televised co-feature to the Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez Jr. fight in Omaha, Nebraska. Stevenson shined on the Crawford-Amir Khan pay-per-view undercard April 20 at Madison Square Garden, dominating former world title challenger Christopher Diaz over 10 rounds.

Guevara (27-4, 12, KOs), from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, turned pro in November 2009 and has twice challenged for a bantamweight world title, dropping a competitive decision to Leo Santa Cruz in December 2012 and getting knocked out in nine rounds by Japanese standout Shinsuke Yamanaka in November 2013. He is 9-2 with six knockouts since the Yamanaka defeat, with those losses coming against a former world champion (Hugo Ruiz) and a fighter who would go on to capture a world title (Emmanuel Rodriguez).

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Use the hashtags #StevensonGuevara and #GreerPotapov to join the conversation on social media.

NEWARK, N.J. (June 25, 2019) — Newark native Shakur Stevenson has graduated from co-headliner to center stage performer. Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, will return home for the first time as a professional when he faces former world title challenger Franklin Manzanilla in a 10-round featherweight bout Saturday, July 13 at Prudential Center.

Manzanilla replaces original opponent Hairon Socarras, who dropped out of the fight.

Stevenson-Manzanilla WBO NABO bout will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

The entire undercard will stream live on ESPN+ — the leading multi-sport streaming service — starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets priced at $100, $75, $50 and $25 (not including applicable fees) are on sale now and can be purchased at, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 and in person at the Prudential Center box office.

“It doesn’t matter who I fight. I am ready to put on a show for my hometown,” Stevenson said. “Newark is going to be out in full force, and I know a victory on July 13 will move me closer to a world title shot, which is my ultimate goal.”

“I fought for a world title against Rey Vargas in my last fight, and I let that opportunity slip away,” Manzanilla said. “Against Shakur, I don’t want that to happen to me again. It will be an honor to be in the ring with an Olympian on such a big stage. I am inspired to give the fans a great show and crash the party.”

Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs), the WBO No. 1 contender, returned from the 2016 Rio Olympics as one of the sport’s most highly touted prospects. He graduated from prospect to contender status in 2018, knocking out longtime contender Viorel Simion in one round as the ESPN-televised co-feature to the Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez fight in Omaha, Nebraska. Stevenson shined on the Crawford-Amir Khan pay-per-view undercard April 20 at Madison Square Garden, dominating former world title challenger Christopher Diaz over 10 rounds.

Manzanilla (18-5, 17 KOs) is a Colombian power puncher who made his United States debut earlier this year when he challenged unbeaten WBC super bantamweight champion Vargas. He knocked down Vargas in the second round of a rough-and-tumble fight, ultimately dropping a unanimous decision. Manzanilla owns a 2018 TKO victory over former WBC super bantamweight champion Julio Ceja and has only been knocked out once in the paid ranks.

WBO NABO Featherweight Champion Shakur Stevenson put forth the best performance of his young career, befuddling and outboxing former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz over 10 one-sided rounds (100-90, 99-91 and 98-92).

Stevenson, a 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, saw his two-fight knockout streak come to an end, but Diaz (24-2, 16 KOs) represented the toughest test of his career.

At no point did Diaz threaten Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs), whose southpaw movement was too much for the Puerto Rican pressure fighter.

“I take nothing away from Christopher Diaz,” Stevenson said. “He’s a great fighter, but I came in there to outbox him, and that’s exactly what I did.”