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Avila Perspective, Chap. 204: Shakur, Amanda and Heavyweights

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  • Avila Perspective, Chap. 204: Shakur, Amanda and Heavyweights

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    By David A. Avila

    Fresh off a super featherweight title unification victory Shakur Stevenson returns and this time avoids a battle against Brooklyn’s great Amanda Serrano for viewership and ticket sales by one day.

    Sadly, he did lose the world titles on the scale without a single punch, having weighed 1.6 pounds over the designated limit.

    In front of a hometown crowd Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) defends the WBO and WBC titles against Brazil’s Robson Conceicao (17-1, 8 KOs) at the Prudential Center on Friday, Sept. 23, in Newark, New Jersey. ESPN will televise the Top Rank card.

    He just won’t be able to keep those belts and did not attempt to lose the weight despite given time to do so.

    “He is just worried that he will be beaten by me,” said Conceicao about Stevenson refusing to try and make weight.

    Stevenson had a different reason.

    “It just wasn’t happening, my body won’t do it,” Stevenson said after weighing two pounds more than Conceicao.

    Thankfully, he’s not battling seven-division female champ Serrano for viewership who performs a day later on another ESPN show in Manchester, England. If you can’t beat them, join them.

    Stevenson’s last fight proved to be the litmus test that showed women’s boxing can attract fans as his match against Oscar Valdez in Las Vegas was paired against the mega female fight between Serrano and Katie Taylor and was decimated. The women beat the men in viewership and ticket sales and sold-out Madison Square Garden.

    It was no contest.

    On Friday, Stevenson continues his quest to prove he can attract fans. So far, there is interest but though the former 2016 Olympian has talent, it’s been inconsistent and uninteresting so far. And now he cannot make the 130-pound super featherweight limit.

    Brazil’s Conceicao, a former Olympic gold medalist, is 33 years old and despite a lengthy amateur career has been able to make the transition to the pros. That’s not always possible, especially when amateur traits are engrained like a made-in-Brazil metal patent.

    Stevenson won Olympic silver in the Rio Olympics and gets an opportunity to prove he deserved gold. They definitely know each other. At the press conference, the Newark native chirped and barked at Conceicao, a Brazilian native accustomed to much worse in the favelas of Salvador, Brazil.

    Only the Brazilian can win the world titles, but Stevenson wants to protect his image of invincibility.

    Title Fights in England

    Early on Saturday for American audiences, two heavyweights battle for legitimacy as heavy-handed Joe Joyce (14-0, 13 KOs) meets former champion Joseph Parker (30-2, 21 KOs) for the interim WBO heavyweight title at Manchester, England. ESPN+ will stream the Queensberry Promotions card.

    Heavyweights from the British Commonwealth have taken over the division. It’s no secret. Joyce, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist has arrived like his nickname “The Juggernaut” and at age 37 has no time to waste. He’s facing former WBO heavyweight titlist Parker of New Zealand who lost his title to Anthony Joshua a few years back.

    Also on the same card WBC, WBO featherweight titlist Amanda Serrano (42-2-1, 30 KOs) attempts to unify the featherweight division against IBF titlist Sarah Mahfoud (11-0, 3 KOs) in the co-main event.

    Brooklyn’s Serrano is definitely one of the four best female fighters in the world and can end a fight with a single punch. She’s also one of the more skilled pressure fighters - man or woman - on the earth.

    Nottingham

    British lightweights battle for the fringe IBO world title as Maxi Hughes (25-5-2, 5 KOs) defends against Kid Galahad (28-2, 17 KOs) on Saturday at Nottingham. DAZN will stream the Matchroom Boxing card.

    Also, in a female world title fight, Hannah Rankin (12-5) defends the IBO and WBA super welterweight titles against former super featherweight champion Terri Harper (12-1-1) who is moving up four weight divisions to make the challenge.

    Mayweather in Japan

    Floyd Mayweather meets MMA star Mikuru Asakura in a boxing exhibition match on Saturday Sept. 24, at Saitama, Japan. The match will be streamed on FITE.tv at 8 p.m. PT. The cost is $29.99.

    Fights to Watch

    Fri. PROBOX 6 p.m. Cristopher Lopez (15-0-1) vs Alejandro Diaz (11-4-2).

    Fri. ESPN 7 p.m. PT Shakur Stevenson (18-0) vs Robson Conceicao (17-1)

    Sat. ESPN 10 a.m. PT Joe Joyce (14-0) vs Joseph Parker (30-2); Amanda Serrano 42-2-1) vs Sarah Mahfoud (11-0).

    Sat. DAZN 11 a.m. PT Maxi Hughes (25-5-2) vs Kid Galahad (28-2); Hannah Rankin (12-5) vs Terri Harper (12-1-1).

    Sat. FITE ppv 8 p.m. Floyd Mayweather vs Mikuru Asakura.
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