The King of Brick City is ready to shine again in front of a packed hometown crowd.
Undefeated former two-weight world champion Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) will take on Japanese puncher, Shuichiro Yoshino (16-0, 12 KOs) in a 12-round WBC lightweight title eliminator this Saturday at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
In the co-feature, heavyweight destroyer, Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (13-0, 13 KOs) facesfellow unbeaten George Arias (18-0, 7 KOs) in a 10-rounder. U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis (7-0, 5 KOs) meets his stiffest challenge yet in the 10-round lightweight televised opener against former title challenger Anthony Yigit(26-2-1, 10 KOs).
Stevenson-Yoshino, Anderson-Arias & Davis-Yigit will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
The ESPN+-streamed undercard (7 p.m ET/4 p.m. PT) includes Polish heavyweight Damian Knyba (10-0, 6 KOs) and Brooklyn-born featherweight phenom Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington (6-0, 3 KOs).
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.
At Thursday’s press conference, this is what the fighters had to say.
“It feels great to be back home. It feels great to be back in front of my fans and family. I’m enjoying myself, and I just can’t wait for Saturday. I’m really excited for Saturday. But is he ready for Saturday? That’s the real question. He walks around here with a smile, and I can’t wait to wipe that smile off his face.
“This dude been running around here saying that I don’t have any power. He’s been saying that he’s going to push me mentally. Let’s see if he’s ready to go to deep waters with me. I’m going to drown him.
“You’re going to see everything in the arsenal. I’m going to go out there and box him. I’m going to beat him up. He’s going to leave that ring knowing that I’m the best fighter he’s ever been in the ring with.”
“I’m really pumped up for the fight. I’m really excited.
“I’m excited to fight for the WBC title. This opportunity is really going to change my place in boxing.
“My trainer and I have been studying Shakur. We have a game plan to implement on Saturday.”
“I’m beyond focused. I’m more than ready for this fight. I’m ready to handle business and come out impressively. It’s a fight against an undefeated fighter. And we’re looking forward to being impressive.
“I let things play out in the ring. Jerry Forrest kind of picked the ending to our last fight. I came in, and I felt too relaxed.
“That’s how he landed those two big shots. So, he decided the fate of that fight. Hopefully, Arias decides to let us get a couple of rounds in.”
“On paper, he is the toughest fighter I’ve faced because it seems like he’s the new face of the heavyweight division. As for me, I see it as a sport. I got to do what I can to win. It’s boxing. You do what you have to do to win. It’s just another fight to me.
“I’ve come back from a layoff before. I did the best I could to be ready. I have no excuses. I trained to the best of my ability. I sparred with great fighters. I did everything I could. For me, it’s like if I fought a few months ago.”
“I know Yigit is definitely coming to fight. He is an experienced fighter. I really think he’s going to test me in ways that nobody has tested me before.
“He’s a southpaw. And he’s a fighter. He likes to fight. And I love that. I like to fight, too. This Saturday is going to be action-packed. The tougher man is going to win.”
“I’m very happy to be here. I’m very thankful for this opportunity. I’m happy to be able to showcase my skills.
“I’ve been training my whole life. I had some bumps along the road. But, hey, who said following your dreams is easy? But we’re still doing it. And I’m here. This is my time.”
“It’s an honor for me. It’s a huge step forward. The beginning was tough. I never had guaranteed fights. We had to scramble to get fights and experience. But I’m here now. I’m ready to take advantage of this opportunity. I’m excited to see the huge leaps forward that my career will take.”
“Every single time I fight, I try to display art. It’s not just about knockouts. I want people to see that everything is strictly business. I’m Picasso in the ring. The ring is my canvas, and I’m painting the canvas. I just want everybody to learn and be more educated every single time I fight.”
Credit: Top Rank Boxing