By: Sean Crose
Shakur Stevenson faces Robson Conceicao in a twelve-round main event tonight at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The fight will air live on ESPN and ESPN+ beginning at 10 pm ET. The 18-0 Stevenson was supposed to be defending his WBO and WBC junior lightweight titles, but was stripped of those belts yesterday when he made it clear he couldn’t or wouldn’t lose the 1.6 pounds required to maintain ownership. of their belts. The 17-1 Conceicao, on the other hand, can take possession of those belts if he beats Stevenson tonight.
The truth is, 2016 gold medalist Conceicao is no joke. His only loss was to Oscar Valdez and not everyone felt comfortable thinking the judges awarded the right man that night. As for Stevenson, he’s been red hot (at least until yesterday), unifying the titles he’s now been stripped of last April when he outpointed the same Valdez who handed Conceicao his only loss. Stevenson has made it clear that he will move up to lightweight after tonight. He may be the hometown favorite (he hails from Newark, after all), but it would be a huge success in his career if Conceicao walked out of the ring with the WBC and WBO belts tonight.