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Shakur Stevenson to vacate featherweight belt, move to 130 pounds

Shakur Stevenson. Photo by Mikey Williams/ TOP RANK
09
Jul

Shakur Stevenson is reportedly vacating the WBO featherweight title to move up to the junior lightweight division.

ESPN’s Steve Kim was first to report the story.

Antonio Leonard, who co-promotes Stevenson, told ESPN: “We’re moving up. We’re getting all the belts, and everyone at 130 [pounds] can get it.”

However, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told The Ring Thursday evening that neither Leonard, Stevenson, or James Prince, Stevenson’s manager, have consulted him.

“I haven’t heard from Antonio Leonard for about a week or so,” Arum said. “I got to hear it from either James Prince or Shakur himself,” Arum said. “Because we’re still trying to do a (Josh) Warrington fight at 126-pounds, but we’ll see what happens.”

Top Rank and Frank Warren, Warrington’s promoter, had been in discussions for a possible featherweight unification fight since late last year, but negotiations were unsuccessful.

Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs), 23, The Ring’s No. 4 rated featherweight, who captured a bronze medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics, won the vacant 126-pound title with a unanimous decision over Joet Gonzalez in October.

Then on June 9, Stevenson moved up to junior lightweight for a non-title fight against Felix Caraballo, whom he knocked out in six one-sided rounds.