Shakur Stevenson Will Aim To Impress in Homecoming Headliner

By Francisco Salazar 

After fighting near his hometown or abroad, Shakur Stevenson will finally fight in the city where he was born and raised.

Stevenson will face Hairon Sacorras on July 13 in a clash of unbeaten featherweight contenders, Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti confirmed to BoxingScene Thursday night.

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The 10-round bout will take place at the Prudential Center in Stevenson’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey. Preceding the fight will be a 10-round bantamweight bout between bantamweight contenders Joshua Greer and Nikolai Potapov.

Both fights will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

The fight will mark the first time Stevenson will fight in his hometown as a pro. The 21-year-old Stevenson has fought across the Hudson River at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, along with Atlantic City, and Omaha, Nebraska, but never in Newark.

According to Moretti, Top Rank’s plan to have Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic Silver medalist, fight in Newark could be traced back to before his pro debut.

“We wanted Shakur to be the headliner in Newark, not as an undercard fighter,” Moretti told Boxingscene. “The city of Newark has been behind this 100 percent.”

In his last bout on Apr. 20, Stevenson (11-0, 6 knockouts) defeated former world junior lightweight title challenger Christopher Diaz by unanimous decision over 10 rounds. Stevenson has demonstrated more power in recent fights, having stopped his previous two opponents.

Stevenson, who is co-managed by Andre Ward, James Prince, and Josh Dubin, is already ranked No. 5 by the WBC and the IBF. The WBO has Stevenson No. 6 in its rankings.

Socarras (22-0-3, 14 KOs) was born in Cuba and now resides in the Miami area. In his last bout on May 10, the 26-year-old Socarras stopped former bantamweight contender Jesus Martinez of Colombia in the fifth round.

Socarras is ranked No. 7 by the WBA.

Greer (20-1-1, 12 KOs), who resides in Chicago, knocked out Giovanni Escaner in round eight of his last bout on Feb. 15 in Hinckley, Minnesota. Greer has knocked out his last seven opponents and eight of his last 10.

The 24-year-old Greer is ranked No. 4 by the IBF.

Potapov (20-1-1, 11 KOs) is originally from Russia and now resides in Brooklyn, New York. The 29-year-old Potapov has won his last three bouts since suffering his only loss as a pro at the hands of Omar Narvaez in October of 2017. He is ranked No. 4 by the WBO.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

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