Boxing

Why are fighters ducking Shakur Stevenson? Previewing fight vs Edwin De Los Santos on Fightin’ Words

The next phase of Shakur Stevenson’s growing career continues on a rare Thursday fight night when he faces Edwin De Los Santos for the vacant WBC lightweight title on November 16. 

Stevenson, a two-division champion, was supposed to face Frank Martin, who backed out following contract negotiations. It has become a common theme for Stevenson to feel “avoided,” like when he calls out Devin Haney, Vasiliy Lomachenko and others.

Are fighters “ducking” Stevenson? Or are there no proper matchups for him at age 26? Is the risk vs. reward of fighting Stevenson not the same? 

If he wins lightweight gold, it would add to his growing legacy. But where would that put him on the pound-for-pound list? The Sporting News has him ranked 10th, with room to grow. Does he need another Jamel Herring and Oscar Valdez-like challenge, like Haney and Gervonta Davis, to make a significant jump?

Stevenson, talent-wise, may be the closest comparison to Floyd Mayweather. You can add Terence Crawford comparisons to the mix, where people Stevenson needs to fight are within other platforms.

WATCH: Shakur Stevenson vs. Edwin De Los Santos, exclusively on ESPN+

Stevenson joins the lightweight ranks just as undisputed champion Haney moves to super lightweight to challenge champion Regis Prograis. He could return to the division to reclaim the WBC lightweight title. Who is the best in the lightweight division right now? Is it Stevenson, Haney, Lomachenko, Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis or someone else?

On this episode of Fightin’ Words, The Sporting News’ Andreas HaleKarisa Maxwell, and Tom Gray discuss wanting to see Stevenson in an actual fight compared to a boxing fight, including the following topics:

  • Debating if belts matter after Terence Crawford was stripped of the IBF welterweight title
  • With Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk off the December 23 heavyweight card in Saudi Arabia, wondering if the event featuring Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and others is one to watch or a desperate attempt at a buck
  • Predicting the winner of Stevenson vs. De Los Santos

MORE from The Sporting News: 

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