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Shakur Stevenson on his goals for 2023: Fights with Vasiliy Lomachenko, then Gervonta Davis and more

Shakur Stevenson has lofty goals for next year. He is anticipating a lightweight debut against Jamaine Ortiz and then wants fights with Vasiliy Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis; by the end of the year, Stevenson intends to be “fighting for top three on the pound-for-pound list”

Shakur Stevenson
Image: Shakur Stevenson has big plans for 2023

Shakur Stevenson has set his goals for 2023: fights with Vasiliy Lomachenko, then Gervonta Davis and a place at the top of the pound-for-pound list.

Stevenson could be one of the most talented fighters in America. In 2023 he intends to prove it. He will move up to the lightweight division. A unified world champion at super-feather, he couldn't make weight for his last fight, a sign that that the time had come to move up.

"It was a great year. I had one little hiccup with not making weight. I still don't like it but I can't dwell on it," Stevenson told Sky Sports. "It will never happen again in my career."

Reviewing his own 2022, he picks out his tremendous victory over Oscar Valdez as the highlight.

"He was the name that everybody saw, a world champion who beat a bunch of different people and defended his title several times. I don't think I got the credit I deserved for that, with him being an undefeated dude in his prime whupping guys.

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"Knocking [Miguel] Berchelt out was a highlight of his career and I think just doing that when Berchelt was the man to beat, he was the champion, you've got to respect Valdez overall.

"I think that was a very underrated performance. I don't think I got the credit I deserve. It is what it is. I'm still working. I'm going to kick the door down."

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Although Stevenson is yet to fight at lightweight, he's already finding it hard to pin down an opponent for his next fight.

"We already looked for some top guys at lightweight and actually they turned me down already," he said. "Guys like Isaac Cruz turned me down, that's a top guy that fought 'Tank' [Gervonta Davis].

"It's real weird that they would turn down a guy that never fought one fight at 135lbs. It is what it is, we're not tripping."

He's confident that with one bout at lightweight he'd be able to position himself for a shot at one of the major championships.

"I don't have to wait too long. Maybe one fight then fight for the title," he said. "I'd fight for the title next if I could.

"The top people are all busy right now. Devin [Haney] is going to fight [Vasiliy] Lomachenko. 'Tank' has got two fights coming up. So obviously we can't make those fights right now so I'll go for the next available option."

That could bring him to Jamaine Ortiz, who gave Lomachenko a host of problems when they fought in October.

"Jamaine Ortiz is on the list. I know him personally," Stevenson said. "He's not going to say no. He wouldn't duck nobody.

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"He did real good with Lomachenko. He just was a frontrunner. I'm not taking anything away from him. I already know he's a tough fight for whoever. He's a big 135lbs."

But Stevenson added: "He's a frontrunner, I think the first six rounds he's going to start off blazing hot. Then the next six he dies down.

"The world would like to see it just based off what he did with Lomachenko. But Lomachenko is a older guy, he's slowly going down. I'm like a young killer. It's not going to be the same type of thing if we do fight."

Although Lomachenko is looking at fighting Devin Haney, the undisputed lightweight champion, next, Stevenson still expects to fight the great Ukrainian in 2023.

"I'll probably fight Lomachenko," he explained. "That could be after he fights Haney I think that me and him could fight. I know Devin plans on going to 140lbs.

"I'll probably fight him for a vacant title."

Stevenson has lofty goals for next year. "After [Lomachenko] I want to fight 'Tank,'" he noted. "I want to fight 'Tank,' that's who I would fight after Lomachenko, if I could pick my year."

By the end of 2023, he said: "I think that I'll be fighting for top three on the pound-for-pound list. I just know I'm going to be one of the best young fighters, which I am, in the sport of boxing. But I'm going to take my career to new heights. I'm ready for the big pay-per-view fights, I'm ready to see the big names. I don't want to come to this division and not fight the people that are supposed to be the people.

"I'm locked in, I'm going to show everybody why I'm the truth."

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