Shakur Stevenson Defends WBC Lightweight Title Against Artem Harutyunyan in Newark Showdown

By Tim Smith - 05/14/2024 - No comments

Newark’s lightweight overlord, Shakur Stevenson, is set to defend his crown on home turf. The WBC lightweight world champion will clash with Armenian-born German Olympian Artem Harutyunyan on Saturday, July 6, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Sharing the spotlight, O’Shaquie Foster will defend his WBC junior lightweight title against Brazilian Olympic gold medalist and three-time world title challenger Robson Conceição. In the opener, Keyshawn Davis will lock horns with Mexican veteran Miguel Madueño in a 10-round lightweight scrap.

Top Rank is behind this showdown, in association with Universum Boxing. The event will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Tickets hit on Wednesday, May 22, at 2 p.m. ET.

Bob Arum, Top Rank Chairman, shared his excitement: “There’s a unique connection between Shakur and Newark, and we’re thrilled he’s back for another hometown appearance against a tough opponent in Artem Harutyunyan. Foster doesn’t shy away from top opposition, and I know Conceição is motivated to pull off the upset. With Keyshawn Davis on the card against a rugged contender in Madueño, this tripleheader in Brick City will be something special.”

Dylan Wanagiel, VP of Sports Properties & Special Events at the Prudential Center, chimed in with his take: “Welcoming back Top Rank, ESPN, and Shakur Stevenson for the third time in two years is a great honor for Prudential Center and Newark. With Shakur defending his WBC title against a tough opponent in Harutyunyan, we’re ready for another unforgettable night in New Jersey.”

Main Event: Shakur Stevenson vs. Artem Harutyunyan
Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) has steamrolled through three divisions in his seven-year reign. The Newark native collected a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics before turning pro in 2017. He won his first title in 2019, snatching the WBO featherweight belt by dismantling Joet Gonzalez. Two years later, he claimed the WBO 130-pound title after battering Jamel Herring. In 2022, he unified world titles by handing then-WBC champ Oscar Valdez his first loss. Now, he’s looking to keep the momentum going after dispatching Conceição and stopping Shuichiro Yoshino in six. Last November, he outpointed Edwin De Los Santos to secure the WBC lightweight crown.

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“It feels good to be back home where they appreciate a young legend,” Stevenson boasted. “On July 6, Down Goes Artem!”

Harutyunyan (12-1, 7 KOs) snagged an Olympic bronze medal for Germany in 2016 before beginning his pro journey in 2017. The 33-year-old went 12-0 in his adopted homeland, besting Samuel Molina and Humberto Galindo along the way. In his U.S. debut last July, he tangled with Frank Martin, only to drop a narrow decision after an aggressive fight. Now, Harutyunyan’s looking to seize the opportunity of a lifetime and rip the WBC belt from Stevenson.

“I respect Shakur Stevenson, but I’m here to shock his hometown and win the WBC lightweight championship,” Harutyunyan said. “This is my second fight in the U.S., and I’ve learned and grown since my loss to Martin.”

Co-Feature: O’Shaquie Foster vs. Robson Conceição
Foster (22-2, 12 KOs) overcame early-career stumbles to earn the WBC junior lightweight title. Since joining forces with trainer Bobby Benton, he’s gone 12-0, including a decisive win over two-division champ Rey Vargas and a dramatic 12th-round KO of Eduardo Hernandez. His last fight, a split decision over Abraham Nova, solidified his status as a top contender.

“Conceição’s a great fighter who’s been in with top guys, but I’ll be ready,” Foster said. “I’m one of the best fighters in the world, and I’ll prove it.”

Conceição (18-2-1, 9 KOs), Brazil’s first Olympic boxing gold medalist, has only lost to unbeaten world champions. After his decision loss to Stevenson in 2022 and a no-contest against Nicolas Polanco, he battled three-weight champ Emanuel Navarrete to a majority draw. In April, he TKO’d Jose Guardado in seven.

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“This title has been my goal for a long time, and I won’t let it slip away,” Conceição declared. “I’ll leave everything in the ring. Blood, sweat, and dedication.”

Opening Fight: Keyshawn Davis vs. Miguel Madueño
Davis (10-0, 7 KOs) rapidly rose through the ranks after nabbing a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. He inked a deal with Top Rank in 2021 and has gone 7-0 since, including a stoppage of Anthony Yigit and a 10-round decision over Francesco Patera. Following a no-contest due to a marijuana test, he bounced back by hammering Jose Pedraza in six.

“Madueño’s a tough fighter with 30+ fights, but I’m ready to put on a show,” Davis said.

Madueño (31-2, 28 KOs) rebounded from his 2022 decision loss to Jezreel Corrales by beating Justin Pauldo in February.

Undercard Action
The event’s undercard, streaming exclusively on ESPN+, features lightweight prodigy Abdullah Mason and unbeaten heavyweight Damian “Polish Hussar” Knyba.

Mason (13-0, 11 KOs) will face Puerto Rican veteran Luis Lebron in an eight-rounder. The Cleveland prospect went 5-0 last year and has continued the streak this year with two knockouts.

Knyba (13-0, 7 KOs) will clash with Richard Lartey in an eight-round heavyweight tilt. The 6-foot-7 Pole recently outpointed Michael Coffie and Helaman Olguin.

Fight Details

  • Date: Saturday, July 6, 2024
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT / 2 a.m. BST (Sunday)
  • Venue: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
  • Streaming: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+

Updated Fight Card

  1. Shakur Stevenson vs. Artem Harutyunyan
    • WBC Lightweight World Championship
  2. O’Shaquie Foster vs. Robson Conceição
    • WBC Junior Lightweight World Championship
  3. Keyshawn Davis vs. Miguel Madueño
    • Lightweight Bout
  4. Abdullah Mason vs. Luis Lebron
    • Lightweight Bout
  5. Damian Knyba vs. Richard Lartey
    • Heavyweight Bout

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