In a battle of undefeated fighters, the Prudential Center in Newark is going to see a spectacular lightweight boxing bout as Shakur Stevenson tangles with Shuichiro Yoshino in a lightweight title eliminator. After receiving an order from the WBC earlier this year, the 16-0 Yoshino will square off with the WBO and The Ring super featherweight champion, Stevenson (19-0). The latter is a former silver medalist in the bantamweight division at the Rio Olympics back in 2016. Meanwhile, Yoshino has held the WBO Asia Pacific title since 2020. Recognized as a battle of the top 10 lightweights in the world, this bout will feature a lot of dynamic action on both ends.
For this report, SBS will go over what to look for from each fighter along with a predicted winner of this boxing fight.
Recognized as the world’s finest boxer in the super featherweight class by multiple outlets from ESPN to BoxRec, the 25-year-old is one of the sport’s rising stars. A former world champion in two weight classes, Stevenson has held the featherweight world championship along with the super featherweight title at various points since 2019. Representing the United State in international competition as an amateur fighter, the native of Newark, New Jersey has put together an impressive resume to this point.
Under the tutelage of his manager Andre Ward, himself an undefeated boxing champion, Stevenson is on a strong trajectory to track down the lightweight title. Four of his last five fights have been unanimous decision victories for the 25-year-old, but he has some strong stopping power with nine knockout wins in his career. In fact, if he had made weight in his last bout against Robson Conceição in September of last year, he would have locked down the WBC super featherweight title to go along with his other two belts.
As referenced above, Yoshino is one of the most dominant fighters from Asia, reigning as the WBO Asia Pacific lightweight title holder since October 2019. With most of his victories coming by way of knockout, 12 times in his career, it is apparent that the Japanese fighter is not one to take lightly. At just 31 years of age, Yoshino is in the prime of his career with a perfect 16-0 record and has never let any of his fights come down to a split decision at any point. While his fight last April against Masayuki Ito ended in a unanimous time draw after Ito was cut in an accidental head clash, Yoshino was still given the victory.
In the fighter’s last five bouts since 2020, Yoshino has won three times via KO or TKO and all were title defense bouts for his Japanese lightweight championship. Indeed with a fantastic record in Asia, this upcoming fight against Stevenson will be his toughest yet as this will also be his American boxing debut. Certainly an established product in his native country, it remains to be seen if Yoshino can keep the level of success up at a global level.
Prediction: A battle that will certainly thrill fans from all over, take Stevenson here given his extensive and more battle-tested resume.
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