Shakur Stevenson is a native of Newark, New Jersey and is getting ready for his first career fight in that city. Originally, he was supped to face Hairon Socarras but Socarras had to withdraw due to injury. In his place is a knockout artist by the name of Franklin Manzanillo, who is in fact ranked higher than Stevenson by some bodies. However, Stevenson is the top World Boxing Organization contender and is celebrated as a United States Olympic boxing hero from 2016 when he was touted as one of the top pro prospects in the sport. Stevenson is one of the fastest rising featherweight contenders in recent memory.
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Shakur Stevenson – Check Back Later
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ESPN and ESPN Deports will present the featherweight matchup between Franklin Manzanillo (18-5, 17 knockouts) and Shakur Stevenson (11-0, 6 knockouts) on July 13, 2019. This 10-round bout will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Although this will be Stevenson’s first fight in New Jersey he has stepped into the ring three times in nearby New York. Stevenson was a silver medal winner at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In his last fight Stevenson gained the biggest win of his career when he scored a dominant 10-round decision against Former lightweight world title challenger Christopher Diaz at Madison Square Garden, New York, on April 20.
Manzanilla hails from Colombia and is coming off a tough unanimous decision loss to Rey Vargas at Indio, California on February 19. In a back and forth affair Vargas went down in the second round but Manzanilla couldn’t finish him off. Still, this Colombian power puncher continues to gain respect both with fight experts and gamblers.
“It doesn’t matter who I fight. I am ready to put on a show for my hometown,” Stevenson said. “Newark is going to be out in full force, and I know a victory on July 13 will move me closer to a world title shot, which is my ultimate goal.”
By contrast Manzanilla is thrilled with this surprise opportunity. He has gained confidence from his loss to Vargas, a championship level fighter. In fact Manzanilla is not the only person that believes he may have let a big one get away. But he will profit from and use that experience in the future to fulfill his dream of being a world champion in his own right. Additionally, Manzanilla owns a 2018 TKO victory over former WBC super-bantamweight champion Julio Ceja and has only been knocked out once.
“I fought for a world title against Rey Vargas in my last fight, and I let that opportunity slip away,” Manzanilla said. “Against Shakur, I don’t want that to happen to me again. It will be an honor to be in the ring with an Olympian on such a big stage. I am inspired to give the fans a great show and crash the party.”
Stevenson, emerged as a bona fide contender in 2018 by knocking out longtime contender Viorel Simion in one round as the ESPN-televised co-feature to the Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez fight in Omaha, Nebraska. In a way it was a coming out party and validation of his potential. He has long been touted as world championship material.
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Naturally everyone remembers late fill-in Andy Ruiz Jr and his stunning upset for the heavyweight championship of the world against Anthony Joshua last month. But in this fight Stevenson figures to be more than ready in his hometown debut. He has momentum and the resume to inspire confidence.
Boxing Odds Pick: Shakur Stevenson
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With the boxing odds at BookMaker Sportsbook, you can bet on boxing all year, from smaller cards to pay-per-view events. Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker Sportsbook. Shakur Stevenson vs. Franklin Manzanilla takes place on July 13,2019 at Prudential Center. The fight can be seen on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.