Shakur Stevenson is not interested in ready from now on than legally required in his pursuit of a 2nd divisional crown.
the previous featherweight titlist remains the number-one contender to the WBO a hundred thirty-pound strap currently held by way of Jamel Herring. With that reputation got here disappointment upon gaining knowledge of that Herring plans to still proceed with a voluntary title defense versus former two-division champ Carl Frampton, with their introduced bout because of take place Feb. 27 in London.
Tuesday’s announcement—which came throughout the press office of MTK global, Herring’s consultant—is available in stark contrast to the result expected with the aid of Stevenson (15-0, 8KOs) and his group, given the sanctioning physique’s outdated ruling on the subject.
“As you are mindful… Mr. Stevenson agreed to step aside as the necessary challenger to allow the Herring v. Frampton bout to proceed, given that the bout ensue no later than December 31, 2020,” Josh Dubin, Stevenson’s attorney and co-supervisor mentioned in a proper correspondence with the WBO on Jan. 4, a duplicate of which has been acquired with the aid of BoxingScene.com. “The decision provides that the Herring v. Frampton bout “cannot be postponed or canceled.”
“The resolution additionally states that the choice is “a final choice of the WBO Championship Committee.” December 31, 2020 has come and long past and the Herring v. Frampton bout didn’t occur.”
The aforementioned title combat between Herring and Frampton is considered one of many which has served at the mercy of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. top Rank—the Las Vegas-primarily based promotional outfit which has each boxers below contract, though whose brand turned into conspicuously disregarded from Tuesday’s announcement—deliberate to stage the combat final June in Frampton’s native land of Belfast, Northern eire. The intention on the time turned into to host the combat with fans in attendance, as Herring (21-2, 10KOs) turned into fine marching into opposed territory.
as an alternative got here separate intended showcase bouts for each boxers last summer before proceeding with a head-on collision. Frampton (28-2, 16KO) settled on a late alternative foe in Darren Traynor, whom he stopped inner of seven rounds final August at the back of closed doorways at the famed York corridor in Bethnal green, England.
Three weeks later came Herring’s twice-postponed title protection versus Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo. Herring—a 35-year old southpaw from the Coram element of ny, big apple who served because the captain of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing team which competed in London—retained his title for the second time, settling for an 8th circular disqualification win, a couple of rounds after struggling a cut over his right eye from what was ruled as an intentional headbutt. The injury—along with struggling a scratched cornea—as soon as again threw a wrench into rescheduling the battle with Frampton, which soon became the WBO’s problem.
Stevenson and his crew sought to have the boxer’s obligatory title status enforced, with the WBO reaching a compromise. In an legit order passed down on October sixteen, the sanctioning physique gave its blessing to a voluntary title fight between Herring and Frampton on the circumstance that it take region no later than December 31, 2020. a specific stipulation in the ruling cited that “the bout cannot be postponed or cancelled.”
From there, Stevenson—who turned into named the quantity-one contender upon moving up in weight remaining summer time—changed into as a result of face the winner no later than 120 days after their combat.
As 2020 ended without this kind of combat taking place, the expectation is now for Stevenson—a 2016 Olympic Silver medalist and short WBO featherweight titlist—to be permitted to recreation his necessary reputation within the type of a shot on the 130-pound title, no matter if versus Herring or in a vacant title capacity.
“[W]e request the instant reinstatement of Shakur Stevenson as the mandatory challenger,” notes Dubin who also requests that “Mr. Herring is required to either fight Mr. Stevenson in his next bout or relinquish the WBO Jr. light-weight Championship in order that Mr. Stevenson can fight for the vacant WBO Jr. lightweight Championship in his subsequent bout against the optimum ranked contender.”
Stevenson claimed the WBO featherweight title in a 12-round digital shutout of unbeaten contender Joet Gonzalez in Oct. 2019. His title reign got here and went with out a single defense, with a planned battle versus Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga cancelled two days before their scheduled March 14th, 2019 clash due to the initial wave of the continued coronavirus pandemic. Stevenson considering moved up to junior lightweight, scoring a sixth round knockout of Felix Caraballo ultimate June at MGM Grand convention middle in Las Vegas earlier than formally abandoning his title reign.
Most lately, Stevenson is coming off of a ten-circular shutout of Toka Kahn Clary closing December, also on MGM grounds the place Herring faced and defeated Oquendo.
Herring claimed the WBO a hundred thirty-pound title in a 12-round determination win over Japan’s Masayuki Ito on may 26, 2019, initially of Memorial Day weekend. Two defenses followed, including a aggressive however clear victory over unbeaten obligatory challenger Lamont Roach Jr. on Nov. 9, 2019, two days in advance of Veteran’s Day which Herring proudly represented as a adorned U.S. Marine and two-tour Iraqi war veteran.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox