Teofimo Lopez says WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson should move back down to 130 or 126 where he could become undisputed in those weight classes.

According to Teofimo, Shakur has been eating a lot in between camps, causing him to put on weight and move up to 135, where he’s not as good as he once was.

Stevenson has to be kicking himself now that he’s not at featherweight anymore because his division is heating up now.

Shakur’s Weight Class History:

  • Lightweight: 2022 to Present
  • Super Featherweight: 2020 to 2022
  • Featherweight: 2017 to 2020

Naoya Inoue may soon be moving to 126, and that would be a big-money fight for Shakur if he were still competing in that weight class.

Shakur lacks the pop in his punches that he had when he began his career at 126, and that’s not going to change if he stays at 135 or moves up to 140 to chase that bag.

Stevenson’s Weight Gain and Performance Decline

When Shakur was fighting at 126, he looked like pure gold, like a can’t-miss future star, but he then moved up and hasn’t looked the same at 130 or 135.

Lopez states that Shakur (21-0, 10 KOs) was at his best when he fought in the lighter weight classes, featherweight and super featherweight.

If Shakur is eating the way Teofimo talks about, he’s not going to be returning to 130 or 126, and he probably won’t last too much longer at 135. He looks soft in the midsection already, which signals that he’s eating well between fights.

“Shakur Stevenson, we will never lace up a pair of gloves. I don’t care. Shakur Stevenson is a guy if they want to call him ‘Sugar,’ he’s got a lot of sugar,” Teofimo Lopez told the Danza Project about WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson.

Teofimo isn’t the only one who isn’t interested in fighting Shakur. All the top names at 135 want nothing to do with him, which won’t change. He’s in a situation where there are no opportunities for advancement at lightweight, which will likely be permanent.

In any job, if you’re not liked enough to be promoted by your boss, you have to move on, stagnate, or get laid off. Shakur isn’t liked enough at 135 to get fights against Gervonta Davis and Vasily Lomachenko. William Zepeda, The one guy who wants to fight Shakur, is all wrong for him and would be a nightmare to fight.

A Call to Return to 130 or 126

“He’s actually at his finest and at his best at his lightest weight, but the kid is eating a lot in between camps, and now he’s going up to 135. My father was right about a lot of things with these kids. Haney and them,” said Teofimo.

Lopez is right about Shakur. He looked outstanding when he fought at 126, like a future Hall of Famer and a guy destined for greatness. But moving up nine pounds to 135, Shakur is underpowered for that division and forced to move more than he did when he fought at 126.

“You got to have pop, and you got to have chin,” said Teofimo. “Shakur, you should go back to 130 or probably try and make it to 126 because that’s where you’re going to become undisputed, and people are really going to talk heavy about you.”

Super Featherweight Currently A Stagnant Division

130 is a dead division, so it doesn’t make sense for Shakur to move back down there. He should return to 126, where he can fight these killers:

  • Bruce Carrington
  • Nick Ball
  • Rafael Espinoza
  • Naoya Inoue: *Soon moving up
  • Stephen Fulton
  • Rey Vargas
  • Robeisy Ramirez
  • Luis Lopez

“For real, you’re going to be pound-for-pound on that list. But you know something? You’re resorting on your investors. You’re resorting on your back end to help you, and that’s just not how it goes,” said Teofimo.

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