WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson will be making his first defense of his newly won belt against the recently beaten Artem Harutyunyan (12-1, 7 KOs) on July 6th in a Top Rank-promoted event at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The event starts at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN, Deportes and ESPN+.

Undercard Features Foster vs. Conceição

In the chief support bout on the card, WBC super featherweight champion O’Shaquie Foster (22-2, 12 KOs) faces Robson Conceição (18-2-1, 9 KOs).

In the 10-round lightweight contender, Keyshawn Davis (10-0, 7 KOs) will face the big puncher Miguel Madueño (31-2, 28 KOs), who was recently soundly beaten by fringe contender Steve Claggett by a one-sided 10-round unanimous decision.

That gives him a little hint about what the Davis vs. Madueno fight is all about. Top Rank is still holding back throwing Keyshawn into the deep end after his poor showing against Nahir Albright last October.

That performance raised eyebrows about whether Keyshawn has the ability to go anywhere in the lightweight division. The good news is if Keyshawn doesn’t pan out for Top Rank, they still have lightweight Abdullah Mason, who looks like a real keeper at this point.

Harutyunyan Looking to Bounce Back

The 33-year-old Harutyunyan is the guy that Shakur (21-0, 10 KOs) had been rumored to be fighting next, and now it’s official. It’s not the choice that fans wanted to see from the 2016 U.S Olympian Shakur, as they wanted him at the very least to rematch Edwin De Los Santos to prove that his questionable win last November was truly due to injuries

Fans don’t believe it, and it looks weak on Shakur’s part that he moved on and is now fighting Harutyunyan, who lost his last fight against Frank Martin, and is backing into a world title shot off a defeat. That’s a bad look. Imagine a team going to the Super Bowl after losing their previous game. That’s what the July 6th match between Shakru and Harutyunyan amounts to.

It’s believed this is the last fight for Stevenson on his contract with Top Rank. He’ll now either move on to another promotional company or re-up with Top Rank for another hitch.

It would be risky for Top Rank to sign Shakur to another contract because he’s failed to gain a fan base outside of his hometown of Newark. The top lightweight fighters don’t want to fight him because he’s a defensive runner.

Shakur’s fight with De Los Santos was heavily booed by the fans at ringside at the T-Mobile due to all the moving that Stevenson was doing.

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