Shakur Stevenson is lined up to fight for the vacant WBC lightweight title, with Vasily Lomachenko first in line to be in the opposite corner.
Stevenson wanted to become a three-division titlist by facing current undisputed champion, Devin Haney, however the 24-year-old has decided to move up in weight and challenge for honours at 140lbs.
The sanctioning body will announce Haney as ‘champion in recess’ when he does so, and give him the opportunity to fight for his lightweight belt again should he decide to move back down in weight.
The potential chess-match between the pair is a fight fans want to see, especially given many felt Lomachenko did enough to beat Haney recently despite not getting the nod on the scorecards.
Having been unified champion in the division before, Lomachenko has made it clear he wants more titles before retirement – but Stevenson believes that’s not the case here.
Taking to Twitter, he called out the Ukrainian and accused him of ducking.
“Man, Vasily Lomachenko, I used to have a lot of respect for you but you just as [scared] as everybody else I see. You rather retire then get in the ring with me.”
Man @VasylLomachenko I used to have a lot of respect for u but u just as scary as everybody else I see.. U rather retire then get in the ring wit me? 😂🦆
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) August 8, 2023
He also targeted Lomachenko’s manager, Egis Klimas, to say that there was no better fight on the table.
‘Loma’ is 36 now and at the tail end of a boxing campaign that consists of one of the most impressive amateur records of all time, as well as world titles in three weight classes.
He has not commented on retirement, and it certainly wasn’t on his mind when calling for an immediate rematch with Haney.
Should he indeed decide against fighting Stevenson and the American continues to pursue the WBC belt, next in line as per the current rankings is Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz.