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Shakur Stevenson says $15 million is not enough to salvage his relationship with Top Rank

Shakur Stevenson (right) with Bob Arum. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson 22-0 (10) has turned down a $15 million, five-fight deal with Top Rank to test his value on the open market.

The 27-year-old Newark southpaw was booed in his latest performance on the weekend, a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Germany’s Artem Harutyunyan 12-2 (7) at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday night.

“He was a tough fighter. You can’t take nothing away from him. If an okay fighter knows how to survive and that’s their objective, sometimes it’s hard to get them out of there,” said Stevenson.

“These guys come to survive, and their objective is to make sure they make it 12 rounds… I did what I could [to entertain the fans]. I let my hands go at times and put some punishment on him at times. That dude was just making sure he stayed on his feet.”

It was the second straight time Stevenson has failed to impress. At the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, last November, Stevenson outpointed Dominican southpaw Edwin De Los Santos 16-2 (14) in a slow-paced fight that was only notable for the low number of punches thrown.

Despite these performances, Stevenson believes he is worth more than $3 million per fight.

“Yeah, it’s not chump change,” Stevenson admitted in an interview with ESPN prior to his victory over Harutyunyan. “But I know my worth and I know who I am now. I understand my value, from when I first signed with them to now – it’s a lot higher.

“It wouldn’t be hard [to get the big fights] if had committed back to signing with Top Rank. The fights didn’t happen because I didn’t re-sign with Top Rank.

“I see all of these fighters getting opportunity after opportunity, it’s just so hard to make a big fight happen. A lot of that I do blame on my promoter. They could have done a lot more to make these big fights happen.

“I was built the right way and I appreciate them for that but at the end we could have tried harder to make big fights instead of always finding excuses. The vision should be a lot bigger.”

At the post-fight presser Stevenson insisted he wants unification bouts against IBF kingpin Vasiliy Lomachenko 18-4 (12) and WBA boss Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis 30-0 (28).

“Tell [Lomachenko to] fight me,” said Stevenson. “Wouldn’t that be a fun fight? Someone who is coming in there trying to fight and trying to win?

“He’s technically good. There are a lot of people out there who are probably like, ‘Lomachenko can beat [Stevenson], he couldn’t stop [Harutyunyan].’ Why not make the fight? He doesn’t want to fight.

“I’m just telling it like it is … I can’t force these fights to happen if these guys don’t want to fight me.”

He added: “I want to fight guys that are trying to fight me, and have stuff to lose just like me and not guys that come here and just want to be a part of the show.

“I don’t know what I am willing to do. I have to sit at the table and find out. I am ready to get back in the ring as soon as possible.”