By Miguel Rivera
When Shakur Stevenson and his team asked Bob Arum to face the Puerto Rican Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz, the legendary promoter thought the request was insane.
However, seeing the seriousness and confidence of the Olympic silver medal winner, Arum considered that this battle would be a plus for the fans who will attend the upcoming card April 20 at Madison Square Garden for the undercard that will star Terence Crawford and Amir Khan in a welterweight clash.
The clash between Stevenson (10-0, 6 KOs) and Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs) could be the one that steals the show on the Top Rank card.
“Stevenson is a great prospect. Many are saying that he is taking this challenge too early in his career, “Arum said to ESPN Deportes.
“Diaz fought with us on many occasions, he is a very dedicated athlete who already contended for the title and lost to an inspired Masayuki Ito, but, without a doubt, he has the experience to handle a less experienced fighter like Shakur.”
Diaz was ready to face Jessie Magdaleno on the 23rd March but knowing a better offer to fight with Stevenson, who fought at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 and now has valuable credentials on professionalism, he jumped on the fight.
“When Stevenson’s opponent had to be decided, the name of Diaz came out. I thought it was crazy, he was not ready, but he and his people said yes and then we did the fight. The fans win with this great fight,” said Top Rank’s boss.
Also on the undercard, Felix Verdejo will collide with former champion Bryan Vásquez and Teófimo López goes for another spectacular day against Edis Tatli.
The participation of Diaz at the venue, accompanied by the “Diamante” Verdejo, will be a magnet for the thousands of Puerto Ricans in the Big Apple.