Shakur Stevenson to Fight Franklin Manzanilla in Newark Homecoming
Newark native Shakur Stevenson has graduated from co-headliner to center stage performer. Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, will return home for the first time as a professional when he faces former world title challenger Franklin Manzanilla in a 10-round featherweight bout Saturday, July 13 at Prudential Center.
Manzanilla replaces original opponent Hairon Socarras, who dropped out of the fight.
Stevenson-Manzanilla and the 12-round IBF bantamweight eliminator for the No. 2 ranking featuring Joshua Greer Jr. and Nikolai Potapov will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.
The entire undercard will stream live on ESPN+ — the leading multi-sport streaming service — starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets priced at $100, $75, $50 and $25 (not including applicable fees) are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 and in person at the Prudential Center box office.
“It doesn’t matter who I fight. I am ready to put on a show for my hometown,” Stevenson said. “Newark is going to be out in full force, and I know a victory on July 13 will move me closer to a world title shot, which is my ultimate goal.”
“I fought for a world title against Rey Vargas in my last fight, and I let that opportunity slip away,” Manzanilla said. “Against Shakur, I don’t want that to happen to me again. It will be an honor to be in the ring with an Olympian on such a big stage. I am inspired to give the fans a great show and crash the party.”
Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs), the WBO No. 1 contender, returned from the 2016 Rio Olympics as one of the sport’s most highly touted prospects. He graduated from prospect to contender status in 2018, knocking out longtime contender Viorel Simion in one round as the ESPN-televised co-feature to the Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez fight in Omaha, Nebraska. Stevenson shined on the Crawford-Amir Khan pay-per-view undercard April 20 at Madison Square Garden, dominating former world title challenger Christopher Diaz over 10 rounds.
Manzanilla (18-5, 17 KOs) is a Colombian power puncher who made his United States debut earlier this year when he challenged unbeaten WBC super bantamweight champion Vargas. He knocked down Vargas in the second round of a rough-and-tumble fight, ultimately dropping a unanimous decision. Manzanilla owns a 2018 TKO victory over former WBC super bantamweight champion Julio Ceja and has only been knocked out once in the paid ranks.