07
Jul
2020

Shakur Stevenson to make first WBO title defense versus Miguel Marriaga

Ringside 04/02/2020
Shakur Stevenson vs Marriaga

Shakur Stevenson, the 22-year-old phenom on the cusp of pound-for-pound greatness, will make the first defense of his WBO featherweight world title Saturday, March 14, against three-time world title challenger Miguel “Escorpión” Marriaga at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Three days later, Irish featherweight Michael “Mick” Conlan will make his annual St. Patrick’s Day pilgrimage at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in a 10-rounder against hard-charging Colombian veteran Belmar Preciado.

The Stevenson-Marriaga co-feature will see former junior featherweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno fight the unbeaten Sakaria Lukas in a 10-round featherweight showdown. Stevenson-Marriaga and Magdaleno-Lukas will be televised LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets for the Stevenson-Marriaga and Conlan-Preciado cards are priced at $200, $100, $70, $40 and $30 (not including applicable fees) and go on sale Friday, Feb. 7 at 12 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.

For a limited time, when purchasing a ticket online to one of these cards, you will then be given the option to purchase discounted tickets to the other event.

“What a great two nights of boxing on ESPN and ESPN+, as we get to see Shakur Stevenson defend his title against the big-punching Marriaga and Mick Conlan continue one of boxing’s great traditions,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “New York is going to turn out in force to watch two of boxing’s great young stars.”

Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs), the pride of “Brick City”, Newark, N.J., was the first male boxer from the 2016 Rio Olympics to win a professional world title. Last October, he bested Joet Gonzalez via unanimous decision to win the vacant WBO featherweight world title. The Gonzalez win punctuated a banner year for the Olympic silver medalist, who also defeated former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz on the Terence Crawford-Amir Khan PPV undercard. Last July, he headlined an ESPN telecast in front of an adoring hometown crowd of more than 5,000 at Prudential Center, knocking out Alberto Guevara in three rounds.

“We’ve been trying to make this fight with Miguel Marriaga for a long time now,” Stevenson said. “I wanted a strong opponent for my first title defense. He’s been in the ring with multiple world champions, and I am ready to prove that I am the best featherweight in the world. This is my fourth fight at Madison Square Garden, but my first as a world champion, and it will be my best performance yet. I know all of my East Coast fans will come out and support on March 14.”

Marriaga (29-3, 25 KOs), one of the division’s hardest punchers, is hoping the fourth time’s a charm. He fell short in previous world title challenges against Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oscar Valdez and Nicholas Walters, but he’s riding a four-bout winning streak (all by KO). He last fought in December 2019, knocking out Alfredo Mejia Vargas with a body shot. A native of Arjona, Colombia, he’s been scouting Stevenson as a potential foe.

“I always wanted this fight, and the time is right now that he’s a world champion,” Marriaga said. “He speaks often about how people are ducking him, but here I am. Colombia will have a new world champion March 14.”


Magdaleno (27-1, 18 KOs) is 2-0 as a featherweight since losing his junior featherweight world title to Isaac Dogboe in one of the best fights of 2018. A native of Las Vegas, he is coming off a unanimous technical decision over Rafael Rivera last August in Los Angeles. Lukas (23-0, 16 KOs), from Namibia, is one boxing’s best-kept secrets, a nine-year pro who has three knockouts in his last four fights.

“The guys people don’t know about are the dangerous ones,” Magdaleno said. “With the mindset I have now, I don’t think anybody can beat me. “My trainer {Jorge Capetillo} and I are looking ahead. I’m just waiting on what’s next, but we have to take care of business against Lukas first. Once we do that, I have every right to call out all of the champions.”

“There is a Desert Storm coming to New York in the name of Sakaria Lukas, and this storm is targeting the destruction of Jessie Magdaleno,” Lukas said.

Use the hashtags #StevensonMarriaga and #ConlanPreciado to join the conversation on social media.