Future Conlan foe Shakur Stevenson wants 2019 world title fight with Josh Warrington


Future Michael Conlan foe Shakur Stevenson wants to fight recent Carl Frampton defeater Josh Warrington in his first world title fight.

The Rio 2016 silver medallist comes into 2019 on the back of an impressive first round stoppage and major step-up win over Viorel Simion, a fighter who took Scott Quigg the distance in as recently as April 2017.

However, he is just nine fights into his pro career – he will make it 10 verus Jessie Cris Rosales this month – and talk of a world title shot seems somewhat premature.

Indeed, rival Conlan, who he is destined to face due to their lack of amateur previous and common Top Rank link, earmarked Warrington as a possible foe if the Leeds man lost to Carl Frampton in his first IBF featherweight world title defense on December 22nd.

The Belfast boxer plans to position himself for a world title shot over the next 12 months and fight for honours in 2020.

Yet Stevenson [9(5)-0] seems confident he can secure a Warrington tilt this year and even wants to travel to the UK to fight the Leeds ticket-seller.

The 21-year-old told BoxingScene that “I’m fiending for my [first] title shot to be against Josh Warrington in the U.K. I just watched him fight Carl Frampton and I’m fiending so bad.”

“I respect him and I think he’s a great champion. I ain’t just saying that because I see flaws. I’m saying that because he’s tough. It’s not going to be an easy fight at all for anybody in that division, no matter who,” added the Newarkprospect before claiming he will get a shot over the next 12 months.

“By the time I get to a world title, I’ll be fighting at 126. I want a world title at 126 before anything. A world title is not that far [away] as you think. I definitely know what’s coming for me in 2019.”

“I’m going to conquer my division. Keep tuning in on me. I’m going to become one of the greatest boxers ever one day, and I say that with a lot of confidence.”

Warrington, who upset the odds to defeat Belfast’s Frampton, wants unification bouts next but has been mandated to defend against Sheffield’s Kid Galahad so Stevenson certainly won’t be on his immediate radar.

When it is time, though, such a fight would seem easy to make, with Stevenson and Conlan’s promoter Bob Arum having a good working relationship with Frank Warren who looks after Warrington.

Someone, though, is going to have their timescales wrong – with Conlan, who boxes at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick’s Day and also has a rematch with Vladimir Nikitin lined up, predicting that he will face Stevenson before either are world champions, perhaps by the end of this year.

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com