The former WBO featherweight champion wants to close out 2020 with a statement to the rest of the super featherweight division. After getting the world title at 126, Shakur Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs) will have his second fight at 130 pounds, going up against Toka Khan Clary (28-2, 19 KOs) on December 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Stevenson was planning to start off the year defending the WBO featherweight title against Miguel Marriaga in March at Madison Square Garden. COVID-19 put a halt to those plans, and Stevenson decided to move up in weight for his bout that took place in June against Felix Caraballo. He was able to get a stoppage victory, and now looks forward to this bout against Clary which could lead to him being in position to fight for a world title at 130 next year.
“I was really hoping to get another fight in 2020, so I jumped at this date when it was offered to me,” said Stevenson. “I started training camp the next day and am preparing for another stellar Shakur Stevenson performance on December 12th.”
“I’m putting the 130-pound division on notice. I’m the best junior lightweight in the world, and my first fight of 2021 will be for the WBO title.”
Getting past Clary may be a tough test for him at this point in his career. The eight-year veteran faced Kid Galahad in a title eliminator in 2018, and has a string of three victories since including a 2nd round knockout of Jonathan Perez on October 29th. He believes that his experience will carry him to victory.
“There is no doubt that Shakur is a great fighter,” Clary said. “He’s fast and very skilled, but so am I. Come December 12, boxing fans will see the difference between a man and a boy. I’m in the best shape of my life, and the world will see Toka Kahn Clary shine.”
The fight card will include Felix Verdejo in a ten round bout against Masayoshi Nakatani as Verdejo (27-1, 17 KOs) is at the brink of being a top contender in the lightweight division. He knows what is at stake against a fighter who went 12 rounds with the current unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez.
“On December 12, I have before me the most important challenge of my career,” Verdejo said. “I won’t make the mistake of looking past Masayoshi Nakatani because I know a world championship opportunity is at stake. That is my motivating force.”
Edgar Berlanga is also part of this card, and his opponent will be named at a later date.