Shakur Stevenson failed to make weight Thursday ahead of his fight vs. Robson Conceicao on Friday in Newark, New Jersey, and will be stripped of his two 130-pound titles, per championship fight rules governed by the WBO and WBC.
The 25-year-old weighed 131.6 pounds and had two hours to shed 1.6 pounds but determined he couldn’t lose the excess weight.
“I gave it my all,” tweeted Stevenson, ESPN’s No. 1 junior lightweight. “I’ve been professional my whole career and made weight, but my body just can’t make 130 anymore. My health has to come first. I’m moving up to 135 in my next fight.”
Conceicao, an Olympic gold medalist, will be eligible to win the two vacant titles, assuming the fight proceeds as planned. The 33-year-old Brazilian weighed 129.6 pounds for the second title opportunity of his career. His other crack at a championship came in September 2021, when he dropped a controversial decision to Oscar Valdez.
Valdez was allowed to fight, despite the presence of a banned substance in his system following a positive test weeks before the bout. Conceicao (17-1, 8 KOs) rebounded with a rout of Xavier Martinez in January while Valdez was dominated by Stevenson in April.
Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) will be fined by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission and will likely have to forfeit some of his purse to allow the fight to proceed. Stevenson is scheduled to earn $3 million, sources tell ESPN. Top Rank is attempting to find a solution so Stevenson and Conceicao can still fight in the ESPN main event, sources said.
Stevenson formerly held a title at 126 pounds. An Olympic silver medalist, Stevenson could seek high-stakes fights with fellow Top Rank boxers Devin Haney, the undisputed lightweight champion, and Vasiliy Lomachenko at 135 pounds.