By Jim Calfa: Shakur Stevenson believes he can defeat WBO light welterweight champion Josh Taylor and take his title from him now.
The 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Stevenson has been sparring recently with welterweight champion Terence Crawford, and that’s likely the reason why he believes he’ll do a number on the unbeaten Josh Taylor.
Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) doesn’t plan on moving up to 140 just yet because he still wants to collect the belts from the 135-lb champions Devin Haney & Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis before going up in weight.
If Taylor is still holding the WBO belt by then, Shakur says he’ll gladly take it from the Scottish fighter.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the 32-year-old Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) will be at 140 by the time Stevenson gets there because he’s already struggling to make weight.
The better option for Shakur would be for him to target WBC 140-lb champion Regis Prograis because he appears to be the top dog in the division, not Taylor, who is going downhill since his questionable victory over the Louisiana native in 2019.
“Yeah, I’ll fight him, just because I feel like I can beat him,” Shakur Stevenson said to the DAZN Boxing Show when asked if he’d be interested in going up to 140 to challenge Josh Taylor for his WBO light welterweight title.
Taylor has lost a lot from his game since his win over Prograis, and it could be that the damage he sustained in that fight took the best part of him, leaving the shell that Jack Catterall had his way with last year.
Taylor will be fighting Catterall soon in a rematch to try and show the boxing public that his last performance was just a fluke thing. However, Catterall will likely dominate Taylor again because he’s lost a few steps from his game, or perhaps he was never as good as some boxing fans initially thought.
“I don’t want to jump up there for no reason, but I’m still not fully grown yet at that weight,” said Stevenson about going up to 140. “I’m human, just jumping to 140 right now; it’s not my weight class. I was just at 130; I’m at 135. That’s the right way to move.”
There are more prominent names at 135 for Shakur to target, but if he’s unable to get the popular fighters to face him, he may be forced to go up to 140 to get the elusive lucrative fights.