Undefeated southpaw Shakur Stevenson 14-0 (8) says he won’t be stepping aside to allow WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring 22-2 (10) to face Carl Frampton 28-2 (16).
The 23-year-old from Newark, New Jersey was installed as the WBO number one contender after vacating his WBO featherweight belt and moving up in weight to the 130-pound division.
Stevenson is hoping to return to the ring no later than January.
“I’m waiting to see what’s going on,” Stevenson said to The Ring. “I heard that Jamel has to defend [against] his mandatory before January and Frampton is not his mandatory, I’m his mandatory.
“I’m still waiting to see what the WBO is going to do. If I’m the mandatory, I’m first.”
The ambitious Stevenson says he has no intention of taking a stay-busy fight to allow the Herring-Frampton clash to happen.
“No, not if I’m the mandatory,” he said. “I don’t see why I should be waiting for them to fight when I could be fighting for that belt.”
Stevenson claimed the vacant WBO 126-pound strap with a wide unanimous decision over previously undefeated Joet Gonzalez in Reno last October, winning all but one round on all three judges’ scorecards.
His first title defence was scheduled to take place against Miguel Marriaga in March, but the fight was cancelled in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic.
“It was disappointing,” Stevenson admitted. “I had been through an eight-week camp and did all that stuff to lose weight and make 126 one last time.”
Stevenson put the frustration behind him, moving up in weight to stop Felix Caraballo in six rounds in Las Vegas in June.
“It was a good performance,” he said. “It was good for me to get my ring rust off and get back in the mix of things. Bringing back boxing definitely felt good.
“I feel a lot stronger at 130, I’m still growing. I feel way stronger at 130 and I’ll feel even stronger when I grow into the weight.
“I haven’t had the chance to prove it yet but I think I am the best fighter at 130 and I think a lot of people know that.
“I walk around real close to my fight weight. Maybe [one day I will fight as high as] 140, 147. If I do go to ’47, I’ll probably go to ’54 for one fight depending on who it is. I can see that happening.”
Stevenson sees a fight with WBA and WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko 14-1 (10) in his future. The Ukrainian southpaw is set to face IBF counterpart Teofimo Lopez 15-0 (12) in a unification bout in Las Vegas on October 17.
“I think Lomachenko is going to move back to 130 if he gets past Teofimo and me and him are going to fight. I’ve been saying it before I even had a world title,” Stevenson said.
“I think Lomachenko is going to be my dream fight. Me and him are going to have a good fight later on down the line. Skill versus skill, Olympic medal versus Olympic medal, Olympic pedigree versus Olympic pedigree, all that kind of stuff.
“When it comes down to it, we’re going to have to see each other.”