Shakur Stevenson
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Undefeated featherweight contender Shakur Stevenson returns home to Newark, NJ to take on Alberto Guevara Saturday at the Prudential Center.

Jason Leach

Newark, NJ native and featherweight contender, Shakur Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs), fights for the first time as a professional in his hometown this Saturday night when he takes on Alberto Guevara (27-4, 12 KOs) at the Prudential Center.

The 22-year-old Stevenson, who won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, is one of the fastest rising stars in boxing. However, he and his promoter, Top Rank, encountered difficulties finding an opponent for him for Saturday.

Initially, Stevenson was supposed to face Cuban native Hairon Socarras (22-0-3, 13 KOs). However, Socarras dropped out due to undisclosed reasons. Top Rank worked quickly in finding a replacement last week in Venezuela native Franklin Manzanilla (18-5, 17 KOs).

Manzanilla ultimately backed out of the fight shortly thereafter due to flu-like symptoms.

Top Rank scrambled once again to find an opponent, and they finally found one in Guevara, who was luckily in training. Despite taking the fight on very short notice, Guevara seems confident heading into Saturday.

“When I was offered this fight, I did not hesitate. 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.”

It’s uncommon for a fighter to have to deal with two opponent changes for a fight. However, Stevenson doesn’t seem fazed when it comes to preparing for a third different opponent. He’s looking forward to putting on a show in front of his hometown fans in Newark.

“I give Alberto Guevara credit for taking this fight when so many fighters won’t step into the ring with me. He’s been in there with some great fighters, even world champions, but nothing can prepare him for me. No matter the opponent, I am going to put on a special performance for my hometown and everyone watching on ESPN on July 13.”

Should Stevenson win as expected, he hopes it’ll put him in line to fight for a world title in the not too distant future.

Stevenson versus Guevara can be seen on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET, with preliminaries streaming on ESPN+ beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.