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SHAKUR STEVENSON VS ARTEM HARUTYUNYAN SET FOR JULY 6 IN NEWARK

By Press Release | May 07, 2024
SHAKUR STEVENSON VS ARTEM HARUTYUNYAN SET FOR JULY 6 IN NEWARK

Newark’s three-division king is ready to defend his crown on native turf.

Shakur Stevenson will make the inaugural defense of his WBC lightweight world championship against Armenian-born German Olympian Artem Harutyunyan on Saturday, July 6, at Prudential Center in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

In the co-feature, O’Shaquie Foster will defend his WBC junior lightweight world title against Brazilian Olympic gold medalist and three-time world title challenger Robson Conceição.

In the 10-round lightweight televised opener, Keyshawn Davis will take on Mexican veteran Miguel Madueño.

Stevenson-Harutyunyan, Foster-Conceição, and Davis-Madueño will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN, Deportes and ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Universum Boxing, tickets go on sale Wednesday, May 22 at 2 p.m. ET via Ticketmaster.com.

“There is a unique connection between Shakur and the City of Newark, and we are thrilled he’s returning for another hometown appearance against a tough opponent in Artem Harutyunyan,” said Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum. “O’Shaquie Foster does not shy away from the best opposition, and I know Robson Conceição is motivated to pull off the upset. And with Keyshawn Davis on the card against a rugged contender in Madueño, this is quite the tripleheader we have in store in Brick City.”

“To once again welcome back Top Rank, ESPN, and Shakur Stevenson for the third time in two years is a great honor for Prudential Center and the entire city of Newark,” said Dylan Wanagiel, VP of Sports Properties & Special Events for Prudential Center. “We look forward to hosting an unforgettable evening filled with history-making moments in the heart of New Jersey as Shakur takes on a formidable opponent in Artem Harutyunyan for the WBC Lightweight Title.  Following consecutive record-breaking events with Shakur headlining, we are excited to showcase the sweet science in our world class venue, further solidifying Newark’s reputation for marquee events around the world.”

Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) has won world titles in three weight classes during his seven-year run. After securing a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, he made his pro debut in 2017 and swiftly moved up the ranks. He captured his first world title by defeating Joet Gonzalez for the WBO featherweight strap in October 2019. Two years later, he stopped Jamel Herring in 10 rounds to earn the WBO title at 130 pounds. The 26-year-old southpaw unified world titles by handing then-WBC champion Oscar Valdez his first loss in April 2022. Stevenson then claimed two consecutive victories at Prudential Center by defeating Conceição that September and stopping Japanese contender Shuichiro Yoshino in six last April. Hee outpointed Dominican puncher Edwin De Los Santos last November to become the WBC lightweight world champion.

Stevenson said, “It feels good to be going back home to Newark, where they appreciate a young legend, and to make my first title defense at 135. On July 6, Down Goes Artem!”

Harutyunyan (12-1, 7 KOs) captured an Olympic bronze medal for Germany in 2016. He started his pro career the following year and went 12-0 in his adopted country with triumphs over Samuel Molina in September 2021 and Humberto Galindo in June 2022. Last July, he made his U.S. debut in a competitive showdown against Frank Martin. The 33-year-old had success with his aggression and right hand, though Martin rallied late to win a narrow unanimous decision. Harutyunyan will have his first world title shot against his second consecutive southpaw rival.

Harutyunyan said, “I respect Shakur Stevenson as a champion, but I’m coming to shock his hometown fans and win the WBC lightweight championship. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I will take full advantage of it. This will be my second fight in the U.S. I’ve learned and progressed since my loss to Frank Martin.”

Foster (22-2, 12 KOs) had a distinguished amateur career with more than 100 fights and an alternate spot in the 2012 U.S. Olympic team before entering the paid ranks later that year. He encountered two early-career setbacks, including a split decision defeat to Rolando Chinea in July 2016. He returned more than a year later with renowned trainer Bobby Benton and has since gone 12-0. Last February, he won the WBC world title with a points verdict over two-division world champion Rey Vargas before a dramatic 12th-round knockout win against Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez in October. The following month, Foster signed a long-term promotional deal with Top Rank. He returns after securing a well-earned split decision over Abraham Nova in February.

Foster said, “I'm excited to be back for my third title defense. Conceição is a great opponent who has been in the ring with a lot of top fighters, but come July 6, we will be ready. I will keep proving that I'm one of the best fighters in the world.”

Conceição (18-2-1, 9 KOs), Brazil's inaugural Olympic boxing gold medalist, turned pro in November 2016. His only losses have come against unbeaten world champions, including a close decision against then-WBC champ Valdez in September 2021. Following the setback to Stevenson, Conceição’s June 2022 showdown against Nicolas Polanco ended in a no contest. He followed up by challenging three-weight world champion Emanuel Navarrete last November, rising twice from the canvas and battling to a majority draw. In April, he registered a seventh-round TKO against Jose Guardado in April.

Conceição said, "I'm really looking forward to this fight against O’Shaquie Foster. This title is something I've been aiming for a long time, and I'm not going to let this opportunity slip away. I can guarantee that I'll give my best; I'll leave everything in the ring. Blood, sweat, and dedication—everything will be invested in this title bout. I'm ready to face any challenge that comes my way. Let's go all in towards victory! Brazil!”

Davis (10-0, 7 KOs), from Norfolk, Virginia, made a quick transition from prospect to contender. After going 3-0 as a pro, he earned a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. In November 2021, he inked a long-term promotional pact with Top Rank and has amassed seven wins since. In 2023, he stopped Anthony Yigit in nine rounds in April and vanquished Francesco Patera via 10-round decision in July. After his October win over Nahir Albright was overturned to a no contest due to a positive marijuana test, Davis returned with renewed vigor in February to dispatch former two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza in six. Madueño (31-2, 28 KOs) tallied a three-fight winning spree after a decision defeat to Jezreel Corrales in March 2022. The streak was halted by a points setback against Canadian contender Steve Claggett last November, but he bounced back quickly by decisioning Justin Pauldo in February.

Davis said, “Madueño is a tough fighter with more than 30 pro fights, and I have a lot of respect for what he brings to the table. I love fighting in Newark. The fans there are special, and I am going to feed off their energy and put on a show.”

Undercard action — streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ — includes the return of 20-year-old lightweight prodigy Abdullah Mason and unbeaten heavyweight prospect Damian “Polish Hussar” Knyba.

Mason (13-0, 11 KOs) will make his third 2024 appearance in an eight-rounder against Puerto Rican veteran Luis Lebron. The Cleveland native went 5-0 with four knockouts last year before stopping Benjamin Gurment in two in February. He is coming off a fourth-round TKO win over Ronal Ron in April. Lebron (20-5-1, 13 KOs) has given stiff tests to Duke Ragan and Henry Lebron and stopped Giovanni Gutierrez in February.Knyba (13-0, 7 KOs), a 6-foot-7 behemoth with an 86-inch reach, returns in an eight-rounder versus Richard Lartey (16-6, 13 KOs). He joined the Top Rank stable in January 2023 and scored a TKO win over Curtis Harper that April followed by decisions over Helaman Olguin in June and Michael Coffie in December.

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