Shakur Stevenson vs Rafael Rivera Is off – Top Rank Looking for a Replacement

Published 05/21/2020, 10:56 AM EDT

The latest reports suggest that Shakur Stevenson will not face Rafael Rivera on June 9. After the UFC brought combat sports back to life, boxing wants to follow.

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Although Bob Arum—Top Rank Kingpin—was against conducting events during the pandemic, it seems like he has finally changed his stance. Recently, he announced that the company will start putting up events starting from June 9 in Las Vegas.

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Top Rank isn’t the only company that wants to put up shows in Las Vegas. The UFC has also stated its intentions to hold their events in the UFC Apex in Nevada.

However, the Nevada Athletic Commission is yet to make any decisions regarding the matter. As of now there is no official confirmation from NAC.

“We hope to return on June 9 with a slate of fights,” a Top Rank spokesperson told DAZN News. “But major and minor details are still being worked out as it pertains to Top Rank’s upcoming schedule.”

Shakur Stevenson vs Rafael Rivera is off

Originally, Shakur—13-0 in his professional boxing career—was supposed to face Miguel Marriaga at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 14. But that bout fell apart due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

According to ‘The Athletic,’ Top Rank wanted to schedule a bout between Shakur Stevenson and Rafael Rivera on June 9. Unfortunately, even that fight fell apart.

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“Rafael Rivera is no longer being considered for the Shakur Stevenson fight on June 9 due to immigration issues related to restrictions handed down amid the pandemic. Rivera is in Mexico, and a new opponent is being sought to fight Shakur at 130 pounds.” (Via -The Athletic)

Out of Stevenson’s thirteen victories, seven of them came via knockouts. In his last outing, he defeated Joet Gonzalez to win the vacant WBO featherweight title. Based on Jaron Ennis’ latest tweets, it seems like the champion is keeping in shape.

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If Stevenson vs Rivera had to take place, it would have been a huge opportunity for the latter as he is coming off a loss.

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Shantanu Mayenkar

530 articles

MMA | Boxing

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