Shakur Stevenson wants Carl Frampton fight in 2019


Future Michael Conlan foe Shakur Stevenson [9(5)-0] has added another Irishman to his hitlist.

The Olympic silver medallist and his team are targeting Belfast’s Carl Frampton [26(15)-2(0)] in 2019.

Stevenson, who seems keen to fight in the UK, had recently called for a clash with IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington and has now added ‘The Jackal’ to his list of desired foes.

The New Jersey featherweight comes into 2019 off the back of an impressive first-round stoppage and major step-up win over Viorel Simion which saw him claim the WBC Continental Americas title.

The same Romanian had taken Scott Quigg the distance as recently as April 2017.

However, Stevenson is just nine fights into his pro career – he will make it 10 verus Jessie Cris Rosales on Friday – and talk of Frampton and such seems somewhat premature.

Indeed, some might assume his desire to fight this side of the Atlantic and the names he is dropping might be a bid to annoy fellow Top Rank prospect Conlan.

Regardless it’s big talk from the Andre Ward-managed American.

It should be noted that the Frampton call-out didn’t come from Stevenson himself but from his trainer Kay Koroma.

The coach outlined how “2019 – the sky’s the limit. Everybody stay tuned, it should be a big year for Shakur. We’re looking for the World Title shot – Josh Warrington, Carl Frampton, all those guys.”

“We want to fight them and show everybody we’re the real deal.”

Of course, a fight with Frampton this year is a near-impossibility.

The 31-year-old Tiger’s Bay native is still considering his future following his world title loss to Warrington last month.

Frampton is due to have talks with promoter Frank Warren soon and, should he fight on, the former two-weight champ has stressed that a Warrington rematch or a Leo Santa Cruz rubber match are the fights which appeal to him – not a rising star like Stevenson.

21-year-old Stevenson continues his climb on Friday at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York, where he faces Filipino Rosales [22(10)-1(1)-1].

The Asian’s sole loss came to former two-weight champ Jhonny Gonzalez but Koroma is confident.

The trainer noted how “this guy might come in there very different, so we prep Shakur for what we’ve seen of this guy, but also prep him to be shocked and surprised, so he’s not really shocked when he gets in the ring.”

“Rosales is a game guy, a little lanky, a little tall, kind of straightforward. From what I’ve seen, he throws two significant punches and that’s what we’re looking for,” he added before stressing that they will not underestimate the game contender and analysing the match-up further.

“We’re not going to underestimate anybody. I saw him lose to the former World champion, Gonzalez. Maybe he was a little timid and worried about him. I’m thinking he might look at Shakur like, ‘This is a kid, I’m not worried about him. I’m stronger than him, I’m bigger than him.’

“But he might respect Shakur, because Shakur is a little bit smarter. The last fight let me know a lot about Shakur. Every fight we’ve had has let me know, ‘Are we jumping too fast? Do we need a jump backwards?’ and stuff like that.”

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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