WBO and WBC No.1 130lbs contender Shakur Stevenson was among the first to congratulate WBO title holder Jamel Herring after his impressive win over Carl Frampton in Dubai on Saturday night, but then reminded the boxing world he is next in line.
“Congratulations [on] a helluva performance Jamel Herring. What’s da next move tho champ? I need that belt for Valdez to have a reason to fight me,” tweeted the skilful New Jersey southpaw, who previously held the WBO featherweight crown before moving up in weight.
Herring’s sterling showing saw some call for a unification bout against WBC king Oscar Valdez including the Mexican’s manager Frank Espinoza. “Congratulations Jamel Herring. Today was your day! Enjoy it champ. How about you vs the champ Oscar Valdez?” tweeted Espinoza.
With others also beating the drum for Herring-Valdez, a dismissive Stevenson, 23, tweeted: “Over my dead body!” before posting a picture of the official WBO correspondence confirming he is next in line and countering Espinoza’s statement.
“Y’all this is Valdez manager, they think I don’t exist or [something]. I’m No.1 in the WBO and WBC, how the hell y’all think y’all fighting without fighting me?” tweeted Rio Olympics silver medallist Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs), who is set to face Namibian Jeremiah Nakathila (21-1, 17 KOs) for the WBO ‘Interim’ title at 130lbs on June 12.
The WBO has already ordered Herring vs Stevenson to take place after the Frampton fight and the only doubt can be if the current WBO champion relinquishes his belt to face Valdez or moves up to the bustling lightweight division.
As posted by Stevenson, the WBO stated in its March 23 correspondence allowing Herring’s voluntary defence against Frampton to take place: “The winner of the Herring-Frampton bout must declare in writing within 30 days of their bout to either (i) fight the winner of the WBO Interim Jr. Lightweight championship bout between Shakur Stevenson and Jeremiah Nakathila scheduled for Saturday, June 12, 2021 or (ii) vacate the WBO Jr. Lightweight Championship Title.
“If the winner of Herring-Frampton does not declare in writing within 30 days after their bout their intention to fight the winner of Stevenson-Nakathila, the WBO Jr. Lightweight Championship Title shall be declared “Vacant” “Ipso Facto” and the Stevenson-Nakathila bout shall be sanctioned for the WBO Jr. Lightweight Championship.”
WBO President Paco Valcarcel reiterated the sanctioning body’s position on social media in the aftermath of Herring’s victory. “Outstanding performance by our US Marine Jamel Herring. Congratulations to our 130lbs world champion! Now he must face the winner of the Shakur Stevenson-Jeremiah Nakathila bout scheduled for June 12,” tweeted Valcarcel.
Shakur Stevenson isn’t going away any time soon. The 130lbs division is on notice.
Main image: Mikey Williams/Top Rank.