In his hometown of Newark, New Jersey, Shakur Stevenson came in 1.6lb over the 130lb weight limit for his title defence against Robson Conceicao.
Stevenson, who has an Olympic Silver Medal and is undefeated in 18 pro fights, was forced to forfeit the belts for failing to make weight. Conceicao, who weighed in at 129.6lb, can still walk away with the WBC, WBO and The Ring Super Featherweight titles should he win tomorrow night – however that’s if an an agreement is reached and the fight goes ahead as planned. As is standard, Stevenson had two hours to attempt to cut the weight, however decided not to do so.
As the news broke, Stevenson took to Twitter to address his fans and confirm that he would be moving up in weight immediately after this fight.
“I gave it my all. I’ve been professional my whole career and made weight, but my body just can’t make 130 anymore. My health has to come first. I’m moving up to 135 in my next fight.”
I gave it my all. I’ve been professional my whole career and made weight, but my body just can’t make 130 anymore. My health has to come first. I’m moving up to 135 in my next fight.
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) September 22, 2022
The 25-year-old southpaw won the WBO title against Jamel Herring in 2022 and added the WBC and The Ring straps to his collection by defeating Oscar Valdez earlier this year. He’ll now begin a new campaign at lightweight alongside the likes of Vasily Lomachenko, Ryan Garcia, and champion, Devin Haney.
A new division poses new challenges for the highly-touted American fighter, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the bigger men. Having said that, the move always looked likely – although it certainly wasn’t planned like this.
Title defence aside, Stevenson will be keen to impress his hometown fans with a win over Conceicao. However, the Brazilian, himself an Olympic Gold Medallist, has the same motivation as always – leave the arena crowned unified champion.
The fight, if talks between teams are successful, will be broadcast on ESPN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.
Shakur Stevenson issued a statement via Twitter on missing weight for Friday's title unification fight. #StevensonConceicao
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) September 22, 2022