By J.J. Alvarez
At its recent Annual Convention, the WBC ordered an elimination match between American southpaw Shakur Stevenson and fiery Mexican Isaac Cruz. However, there are obstacles in the path of both gladiators.
"Pitbull" Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs) and his father rejected the decision of the sanctioning body, as they considered it to be too easy of a fight and a boring fight, alleging that Stevenson has an elusive style with only sporadic contact.
Cruz Sr. said, “I would rather see my son fight Loma, he is an easier fight. Shakur would be extremely boring, like a dog chasing a cat. We would make more money fighting others.”
Born in Mexico City, 24-year-old Cruz (pictured) recently anesthetized countryman Eduardo Ramírez (27-3-3, 12 KOs) in the second round of their fight on September 4th at the Crypto Arena in Los Angeles where they battled for the WBC Silver belt at 135 pounds.
In an interview, the father expressed that the duel against Ramírez was a direct elimination bout to obtain the right to face undefeated American Devin "The Dream" Haney (29-0, 15 KOs), undisputed champion of the lightweight category.
Another decision that was agreed upon at the WBC Convention was to support the pending duel between Haney and Ukrainian Vasily "Loma" Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs), ranked first by both the WBC and WBO, third by the WBA and fourth by the IBF.
In April, Lomachenko was scheduled to face Australian George Kambosos Jr., who held three of the four lightweight division belts. However, the Ukrainian instead decided to join in defending his country against the Russians.
Haney, owner of the WBC belt, stepped in and fought Kambosos Jr. in a unification bout which resulted in a unanimous victory for Haney. The fight took place at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia and was attended by more than 40,000 enthusiastic fans.
Haney and Kambosos Jr. faced each other in a rematch on October 15th at Rod Laver Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. For the second time, Haney was victorious.
On October 29, Lomachenko defeated American Jamaine Ortíz by unanimous decision in the historic Madison Square Garden. Immediately following the bout, Loma challenged Haney who was in the audience.
The two warriors agreed and the decision was supported by Bob Arum, president of Top Rank Promotions, who indicated his interest in the fight taking place early next year.
SHAKUR STEVENSON RESPONDS TO CRUZ SR
Upon learning of the statements made by Isaac Cruz's father, Stevenson wrote on his Twitter account: "If the lil puppy don’t wanna fight let’s get who next in line isn’t it William Zepeda or Kambosas don’t really matter I’m ready to smoke sum regardless.”
Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) unanimously defeated Brazilian Robson “El Niño” Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs), on September 23 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. However, a day earlier Stevenson didn’t make weight and was stripped of the WBC and WBO super featherweight titles.
A few hours later he announced that he was moving up to lightweight because he had to make immense sacrifices to meet the 130-pound limit.
If Isaac Cruz does not agree to face Stevenson as ordered by the WBC, it will be declared a forfeit on his part and Stevenson will fight the winner of the Haney-Lomachenko clash.
Article submitted by Jorge Juan Alvarez in Spanish.
Please note any adjustments made were for clarification purposes and any errors in translation were unintentional.