NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – APRIL 07: Shakur Stevenson (L) and Shuichiro Yoshino (R) pose during the weigh in prior to their April 8 lightweight fight at DoubleTree Newark Airport on April 07, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
There were no hiccups on the scale this time.
Shakur Stevenson came in just under the lightweight limit at 134.4 pounds on Friday ahead of his lightweight debut against Shuichiro Yoshino, who came in at 135 pounds even. The fight, which takes place at Prudential Center in Stevenson’s hometown of Newark, N.J., will be an elimination bout for the WBC lightweight title, which is one of the belts held by RING/undisputed champion Devin Haney.
Stevenson moved up in weight after his last fight in September, when he was stripped of the WBC and WBO junior lightweight belts after missing weight by nearly two pounds for his fight against Robson Conceicao.
Stevenson (19-0, 9 knockouts) is looking to regain any lost luster from that incident against Yoshino (16-0, 12 KOs), who is fighting for the first time outside of his native Japan.
“He walks around here with a smile, and I can’t wait to wipe that smile off his face,” said Stevenson, who is six years younger at 25.
“This dude been running around here saying that I don’t have any power. He’s been saying that he’s going to push me mentally. Let’s see if he’s ready to go to deep waters with me. I’m going to drown him.”
The bout is the highest profile fight thus far for Yoshino, but it’s not his first against notable opponent. Yoshino is coming off a sixth round knockout of Masayoshi Nakatani, who is best known for his fights against Teofimo Lopez, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Felix Verdejo. Prior to that, he won a technical decision against former WBO junior lightweight titleholder Masayuki Ito.
Stevenson remained under-awed at Thursday’s press conference.
“You’re going to see everything in the arsenal. I’m going to go out there and box him. I’m going to beat him up. He’s going to leave that ring knowing that I’m the best fighter he’s ever been in the ring with,” said Stevenson.
In the co-featured bout of the ESPN broadcast, Jamal Anderson weighed in at 247.4 pounds for his ten round bout against George Arias, who weighed 236.6 pounds. For Anderson (13-0, 13 knockouts), the weight is his heaviest since he weighed about 252 pounds for his 2021 bout against Jeremiah Karpency, while Arias (18-0, 7 KOs) is about 17 pounds heavier than he was for his last bout, an eight-round split decision over Alante Green last June.
The broadcast kicks off with 2020 Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis, who weighed 134.2 pounds for his bout against Anthony Yigit, who weighed 134.8 pounds.
Damian Knyba 258.2 lbs vs. Curtis Harper 267.6 lbs – 8 rounds
Troy Isley 159.2 lbs vs. Roy Barringer 157.8 lbs – 8 rounds
Bruce Carrington 126.4 lbs vs. Brando Chambers 125.6 lbs – 8 rounds
Kelvin Davis 142.2 lbs vs. Nelson Morales 142.8 lbs – 6 rounds
Antoine Cobb 143.8 lbs vs. Jaylan Phillips 142.2 lbs – 4 rounds