Shakur Stevenson returns to the ring on Thursday night to face Edwin De Los Santos for the vacant WBC lightweight title. The fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (ESPN/ESPN+, 10:30 p.m. ET, with prelims on ESPN+ at 5:35 p.m. ET), will be the main event. In the co-main, Emanuel Navarrete defends his WBO junior lightweight title against Robson Conceicao.
Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) is a former featherweight and junior lightweight champion. He also won silver representing the USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. After winning the WBO junior lightweight title with a 10th-round TKO win over Jamel Herring in October 2021, Stevenson captured the WBC belt with a unanimous decision win over Oscar Valdez in April 2022. But Stevenson lost the belts on the scales when he was unable to make weight for a title defense against Conceicao in September 2022. He then moved up to the 135-pound division and scored a sixth-round TKO victory over Shuichiro Yoshino back in April.
De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) is a tenacious southpaw from the Dominican Republic. He has won three straight fights, two of them by knockout, since suffering the only loss of his career, a split decision loss to William Foster III in January 2022.
Navarrete (38-1, 31 KOs) is a three-division champion who has won 33 straight fights (25 by stoppage) and hasn’t lost a fight in more than 11 years. He won the WBO title with a ninth-round TKO victory over Liam Wilson in February and defended the belt against Valdez in August.
Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs) gets his third title shot. He lost to Valdez, fighting for the WBC junior lightweight belt, in September 2021 and to Stevenson a year later. Conceicao’s most recent fight against Nicolas Polanco ended in a no-contest after Polanco was unable to continue following an accidental clash of heads in Round 2.
“You’ve got tough Edwin De Los Santos, but I’m here to kick his ass,” Stevenson said Monday during a public workout in Las Vegas. “I think Edwin is a good fighter. I think he’s more of a boxer than what he’s trying to do. So he will try to move. And I’ll figure him out by the fourth round.”
De Los Santos, who accepted the fight in mid-September after original opponent Frank Martin withdrewHe said he wasn’t here to kowtow to Stevenson.
“We are not here to hesitate. We are here to fight,” De Los Santos said. “We have accepted the fight and will tackle it. I think at some point I was underestimated. But now he has accepted the reality that he will have a very tough fight.”
Let’s take a look at both title fights by the numbers, starting with the main event. Information from ESPN Stats and Information and CompuBox was used in this report.
Stevenson vs. De Los Santos
2. This is Stevenson’s second fight at lightweight. He made his debut in the division back in April against Yoshino.
24. At 24, De Los Santos could become the youngest world champion from the Dominican Republic since Rafael Torres in 1989 (he was 23). De Los Santos could also become just the third Dominican fighter to win a lightweight title, joining Carlos Teo Cruz and Joan Guzman.
7. Stevenson could become the youngest fighter to win a third division title since then Naoya Inoue achieved this feat in 2019. If Stevenson wins, he would be the seventh fighter ever to do so.
6. Stevenson is aiming to become the sixth fighter to become a three-division champion while also winning an Olympic medal. The other five fighters on this list (Sugar Ray Leonard, Pernell Whitaker, Roy Jones Jr., Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather) were all inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. With a win, Stevenson would also become the sixth fighter to win titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, and he would be the youngest in that group to accomplish the feat.
4. De Los Santos is looking for his fourth straight victory after his only defeat in his career. If he wins, it would be his first world title in his career.
155. Of 171 rounds contested in five world title fights, Stevenson won 155, according to the three judges who scored those bouts (one of those fights ended in a 10-round stoppage, against Herring, and one was for an interim title, against Jeremia Nakathila). ). ).
13.4. Stevenson allows the lowest power punch connect percentage. He also ranks second among all fighters with just 13.4% and total punches per round (5.5).
5. It will be De Los Santos’ fifth consecutive fight outside the Dominican Republic. His first 13 fights took place in his home country.
Navarrete vs. Conceicao
9. Nine of Navarrete’s last 11 wins have come by stoppage. He has not won consecutive fights by decision since 2016.
3. Navarrete is defending his WBO junior lightweight title for the third time. The Mexican is currently one of the most active fighters in all of boxing, this will be his third world title fight in 2023 (mostly in boxing). The co-main event will also be Conceicao’s third world title fight. His only career losses came in his last two world title fights (against Stevenson and Valdez).
46.5 Number of power punches thrown by Navarrete per round, ranked 10th according to CompuBox.
2. Conceicao is aiming to become the second oldest Brazilian to win a world title (Eder Jofre won a featherweight title in 1973 at age 37). Conceicao won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in the lightweight division. He is the first Brazilian-born boxer to win an Olympic gold medal.
12. Navarrete’s 12 fights and 12 wins in world title fights are both the most in boxing since December 2018.
16. Conceicao won his first 16 professional fights, but he has only one win in his last three fights.