Ahead of his 10-round non-title bout with Felix Caraballo in Las Vegas this evening, WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson has stated that a move up to 130lbs is inevitable. 

After failing to secure a unification with fellow featherweight ruler Josh Warrington, the 22-year-old Stevenson said that he is eyeing the likes of Leo Santa Cruz and Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz Jr. in the coming months.

“I think that the champions at 130 are all decent fighters,” said Stevenson. “I’ve already pictured myself in the ring with all of them already, so I’ve already been thinking about that. I’ve been thinking about being in the ring with Oscar Valdez, with [Gary] Russell [Jr], Santa Cruz, Diaz, even Jamel Herring if I have to.

“With Josh Warrington, there comes a lot of business and politics with that [fight]…. as far as the money being made for the fight and stuff like that. So, I think [other] fights would be a lot easier, because Valdez and [Miguel] Berchelt and them guys, they’re with Top Rank. JoJo is with Golden Boy. I just fought a Golden Boy fighter in my last fight, so I think them fights would be lot easier [to make] than a Warrington fight.”

Stevenson, who tests the waters at 130lbs at the MGM Grand Conference Center Grand Ballroom tonight, also declared his interest in a unification battle with WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. The former amateur star was full of praise for his fellow American and welcomed a future match-up. 

“That’d be a hell of a fight with me and Gary,” he said. “I think we really are the best two featherweights, skill-wise, in the division, so I think that’d be a hell of a fight. He doesn’t respect a lot of the other fighters, but he respects me a lot because he’s been around me. He knows I’m a boxer, he knows what I’m about.”