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Shakur Stevenson announces retirement: Unbeaten champ says he will not fight again, slams boxing politics

Boxing history is replete with fighters announcing their retirement and staying out of the game for a while before reassessing the field and coming back.

Will Shakur Stevenson stick to the retirement announcement he made via social media on Tuesday? Don’t bet on it.

Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) is a three-weight world champion and the reigning WBC lightweight titleholder. Blessed with dazzling speed and sublime skills, the Newark native is one of the finest pound-for-pound fighters in the world today and his biggest fights are still ahead of him.

MORE: SN’s Top-12 pound-for-pound boxers

However, as glorious as all that sounds, the 26-year-old Olympic silver medallist from the 2016 games in Rio doesn’t sound happy.

“I’m officially retiring from the sport of boxing,” said Stevenson via Twitter (X). “I’ll be in the gym forever perfecting my craft and helping the next generation become great and chase they dreams but I ain’t fw this weak boxing game.”

So, will Stevenson stick to his guns or will he follow the path of Sugar Ray Leonard and Tyson Fury? Both of those fighters took years out of the game, only to return and claim more world title glory. And retirements can end a lot quicker than that. Ask super lightweight king Teofimo Lopez, who lasted just over a month.

Why did Shakur Stevenson retire?

With his unbeaten record, pound-for-pound talent and world title collection, Stevenson would appear destined for the type of multi-million dollar paydays that superstars view as standard.

However, despite posting solid wins over the likes of Jamel Herring and Oscar Valdez, the biggest fights are not forthcoming for the American.

A bout with Vasiliy Lomachenko looked close last year when the WBC mandated a vacant lightweight title bout between the talented Ukrainian and Stevenson.

Unfortunately, Loma had other plans, and after unbeaten American Frank Martin withdrew from negotiations, Stevenson ended up in against the unheralded Edwin De Los Santos.

Stevenson won his third divisional title and very few fans following a boring, low-action encounter.

A matchup with Gervonta Davis looks even less likely to transpire. Stevenson has made no secret of the fact that he’d like to take of fellow unbeaten pound-for-pound entrant Davis, only for Tank’s trainer Calvin Ford to pour cold water on the idea last week.

“Do the fans pay for that? Why would I put Tank in that situation when we can’t do what we do?” Ford told Marko_Boxing.

“Right now, if Tank doesn’t get a knockout… do you get what I’m saying? Everybody thinks Tank has got to knock somebody out to win a fight. In that fight with Shakur, I thought [De Los Santos] won the first round. They gave the first round to Shakur. Do you want to put yourself in a fight like that?”

Reading between the lines, Team Davis views Stevenson as high risk and low reward.

Who could Shakur Stevenson fight?

If the boxing world wasn’t in the habit of shooting itself in the foot, Stevenson could mix with a variety of top names across three divisions.

There were strong rumours that WBO 130-pound champ Emmanuel Navarrete would move up to lightweight for a matchup against Stevenson. Talk seemed to stall when Navarrete was held to a draw in November by Robson Conceicao, who Stevenson defeated back in 2022.

Outside of the Lomachenko and Davis fights at lightweight, you also have Devin Haney at super lightweight. In December, Haney moved up to 140 pounds and claimed the WBC crown at the expense of Regis Prograis.

Stevenson and Haney have traded barbs on social media, but they’ve yet to trade punches.

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