On Saturday night, undefeated featherweights Shakur Stevenson and Joet Gonzalez will fight for the vacant WBO featherweight championship. The fight will take place at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, NV. and streamed on ESPNᐩ.
In the lead-up to Saturday’s bout, there is plenty of bad blood between the two camps. As it turns out, this apparently stems from a relationship between Stevenson and Gonzalez’s sister that dates back to 2016. The relationship between Gozalez’s sister—Jajaira—and Stevenson has created a rift between Jajaira and the rest of the Gonzlez family.
Stevenson (12-0, 7 KO)—a former U.S. Olympian— is coming off of a third-round knockout of Alberto Guevara in July. The fight against Gonzalez will be Stevenson’s first title fight of his professional career. A victory against Gonzalez could potentially open the door for big unification fights for Stevenson in the 126-pound weight class.
Since his professional debut after the 2016 Olympic Games, Stevenson has been on the fast-track toward a world title. Arguably, the best win of Stevenson’s career was a lopsided decision over Christopher Diaz in April. Diaz was a top-rated contender at the time, who had just challenged then-WBO super featherweight champion Masayuki Ito for his title a year earlier. Diaz lost a unanimous decision to Ito that night.
The most recent outing for Gonzalez (23-0, 14 KO) was also in July, against Manuel Avila in Carson, Calif. Gonzalez won the fight via sixth-round KO. The win against Avila set Gonzalez up for his first world title opportunity against Stevenson.
Like Stevenson, Gonzalez was an American amateur standout. He even has a National Junior Olympics win over Gervonta “Tank” Davis from 2010. He was signed by Golden Boy Promotions two years later.
In the co-main event, Joshua Greer Jr. (21-1-1, 12 KO) and former world title challenger Antonio Nieves (19-2-2, 11 KO) will meet in a bantamweight matchup.
Greer, 25, is riding a 18-fight win streak, with his only loss being a majority decision defeat to the currently undefeated Stephen Fulton in 2015. The most recent fight for Greer was a majority decision victory over Nikolai Potopov in July, which was on the same card as Stevenson’s knockout of Guevara.
Antonio Nieves is most likely best known for his fight against the then-WBO super flyweight champion Naoya Inoue in 2017, a fight in which he lost via TKO after the sixth round. Some might refer to Inoue as the world’s best fighter pound-for-pound.
Also on the card, is former U.S. amateur standout Mikaela Mayer (11-0, 4 KO) taking on Alejandra Zamora (7-3, 1 KO) in a women’s super featherweight match-up.