It has been a while, but boxing in the US will be back.
Starting on Tuesday June 9th, Top Rank will have live fights at the MGM Grand Conference Center Grand Ballroom that will be broadcast live on the ESPN family of networks. The main event will feature the WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs) against Felix Caraballo (13-1-2, 9 KOs) in a bout that will be above the 126 pound limit.
The 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist had won the featherweight title in October of last year over Joet Gonzalez which capped off a 2019 where he scored four wins. He was looking forward to a feature bout in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on March 14th against Miguel Marriaga but that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Now after a layoff since winning the featherweight title, Stevenson is anxious to get in the ring to get the rust off.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and return live boxing to ESPN,” Stevenson said. “I was really disappointed when my fight got cancelled in March, and I said then that I wanted to be one of the first fights back.”
When the fight against Marriaga was scheduled on March 14th, they were planning to have that fight with no crowd. Stevenson was ready for that atmosphere, and he is ready for June 9th.
“The atmosphere might be different on June 9, but I’ve fought in unique situations all over the world before so it won’t affect me. Regardless of who’s in the building, you’ll see another great performance, and I’ll remind everyone why I’m the best young fighter in boxing.”
Included in the fight card that features Stevenson against Caraballo will be Mikaela Mayer, who is currently 12-0 and is a top contender for a world title in the super featherweight division. The 2016 Olympian will face Helen Joseph (17-4-2, 10 KOs), who is coming off a decision loss to former lightweight world champion Delfine Persoon.
“I’m incredibly grateful and excited to be fighting on the first boxing card since the pandemic shutdown,” Mayer said. “I was set to travel to New York City for a fight March 17, but the quarantine went into effect the day before I was supposed to fly out. So, despite having a long, hard 10-week camp, I was unable to perform and showcase the work I had put in.”
“I feel like I’ve leveled up my skill set, and I’m eager to show that on June 9 and capture my 13th win. It’s also great to see ESPN and Top Rank having a woman headline their first card back. I have been in camp with Shakur, and we’re ready to bring boxing back to television with exciting wins.”
The fight card will have four other bouts on the schedule, which are Calvin Metcalf (10-3-1, 3 KOs) against Quatavious Cash (11-2, 7 KOs), Robeisy Ramirez (2-1, 2 KOs) versus Yeuri Andujar (5-3, 3 KOs), Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (6-0, 6 KOs) against Don Haynesworth (16-3-1, 14 KOs), and Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (3-0, 3 KOs)will face Johnnie Langston (8-2, 3 KOs).