Shakur lands new opponent
Duarn “The Storm” Vue 14-1-2 (4), the #13 ranked featherweight by the WBA is out with an injury and new opponent Romanian, Viorel Simion 21-2 (9), steps in to face Shakur Stevenson 8-0 (4).
Simion vs Stevenson will be the co-main event on this Saturday night’s ESPN/Top Rank world championship card featuring 2018 ESPN fighter of the year, Terence “Bud” Crawford 33-0(24) vs WBA #1 ranked Welterweight Jose Benavidez Jr 27-0 (18) at the CHI Health Center located in downtown Omaha, Nebraska.
Simion, 36, amassed well over 300 amateur fights and represented Romania in the 2004 Olympics. The former IBF-Continental featherweight champion is coming off a unanimous decision loss to former world champion, Scott Quigg 34-2-2 (25), back in April of 2017. Another highlight in the battle tested career of Simion was when he went 12 full rounds with former world titleist, Lee Selby 26-2 (9), back in 2013.
Interesting note, in both losses to Quigg and Selby, one of the judges scorecards read 115-113. In other words, Simion is no slouch and as some have suggested maybe even more of a threat than Vue.
Stevenson, a 2016 US Olympic Silver Medalist, has been matched tough by Top Rank, especially at the mere age of 21. He already possesses uncanny reflexes and blitzing speed, but is starting to sit down on his punches as well. Shakur, a southpaw from Newark, NJ, has been up in Colorado Springs training alongside Crawford for several weeks and ESPN boxing analyst, and lead trainer/manager for Crawford, Brian “BoMac” McIntyre, stated “Shakur will be a world champion within a year or two, he’s ahead of the competition, the scary thing is he hasn’t even grew into his man strength yet.”
Stevenson would state “I’m excited to fight in Nebraska again. The first time I fought here (August 2017 in Lincoln) they gave me a warm welcome. Terence’s family gives me a lot of love and support every time I fought on one of his cards. I’m also excited to be the co-main event against a seasoned vet.”