Shakur Stevenson gets another opponent change, will now face Alberto Guevara

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Stevenson (left) tags Oscar Mendoza. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

After yet another switch in opponents, Shakur Stevenson will now face former two-time world bantamweight title challenger Alberto Guevara of Mexico on July 13, Top Rank announced Friday afternoon. The 10-round bout will take place at the Prudential Center in Stevenson’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

The fight will follow the 12-round IBF bantamweight elimination bout between Chicago’s Joshua Greer and Nikolai Potapov. Both fights will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (10:30 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).

The 21-year-old Stevenson was first scheduled to face Hairon Socarras of Miami in a clash of unbeaten featherweights, but Socarras backed out of the fight about three weeks ago. Former world junior featherweight title challenger Franklin Manzanilla took the fight early last week, but he also reportedly backed out of the fight.

In steps Guevara, who last fought on Jan. 19 in Las Vegas, losing by unanimous decision to Hugo Ruiz.

Stevenson (11-0, 6 knockouts), who is ranked No. 9 by The Ring, is just glad Guevara accepted the fight on short notice.

“I give Alberto Guevara credit for taking this fight when so many fighters won’t step into the ring with me,” said Stevenson, who is co-managed by James Prince, Andre Ward, and Josh Dubin. “(Guevara) has been in there with some great fighters, even world champions, but nothing can prepare him for me. No matter the opponent, I am going tp put on a special performance for my hometown and everyone watching ESPN on July 13.”

Stevenson last fought on Apr. 20 in New York City, notching an impressive unanimous decision victory over former world junior lightweight title challenger Christopher Diaz. He is the mandatory challenger to face WBO featherweight titleholder Oscar Valdez and is ranked No. 3 by the WBA.

Guevara (27-4, 12 KOs), who is originally from Mazatlan, Mexico and currently resides in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, had won three consecutive bouts before the Ruiz fight.

The 28-year-old Guevara is undeterred about taking the fight on short notice and facing Stevenson in his hometown.

“When I was offered this fight, I did not hesitate,” said Guevara. “I want to fight the best, and Shakur Stevenson is a very good young fighter. The hometown crowd will not faze me. I’m coming to shock the boxing world.”

Guevara lost to bantamweight contender Emmanuel Rodriguez in June of 2016. Guevara lost to then-IBF bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz in December of 2012 and was knocked out by then-WBC bantamweight titleholder Shinsuke Yamanaka in November of 2013.

Greer (20-1-1, 12 KOs), who is ranked No. 3 by the IBF, has won his last 17 bouts. Potapov (20-1-1, 11 KOs), who is originally from Russia and now resides in Brooklyn, New York, has won his last three bouts since his loss to Omar Narvaez in October of 2017. He is ranked No. 11 by the IBF.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

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