Duarn “The Storm” Vue 14-1-2 (4), the # 13 seeded featherweight by the WBA is out with an injury and new opponent Romania, Viorel Simion 21-2 (9), steps in to Shakur Stevenson 8- 0 (4).
Simion vs Stevenson will be the co-main event on this Saturday night’s ESPN / Top Rated World Championship card with 2018 ESPN Fighter of the Year, Terence “Bud” Crawford 33-0 (24) vs WBA # 1 Selected Welterweight Jose Benavidez Jr 27 -0 (18) at the CHI Health Center located in downtown Omaha, Nebraska.
Simion, 36, has amassed more than 300 amateur fights and represented Romania at the 2004 Olympics. The former IBF Continental featherweight champion returns in April 2017 after a unanimous loss from a decision against former world champion Scott Quigg 34-2-2 (25) in April 2017. Another highlight in Simion’s career tested is, was when he was 12. full rounds with former world title player, Lee Selby 26-2 (9), back in 2013.
Interesting note, in both losses against Quigg and Selby, one of the judges’ scorecards read 115-113. In other words, Simion is no mess and as some have suggested, it is perhaps even more of a threat than Vue.
Stevenson, a 2016 U.S. Olympic Silver Medal winner, has been hard-pressed to top the rankings, especially at the mere age of 21. He already possesses incredible reflexes and lightning speed, but is also starting to sit on his beats. Shakur, a southern leg from Newark, NJ, has been training with Crawford and ESPN boxing analyst in Colorado Springs for several weeks, and Crawford head coach / manager Brian “BoMac” McIntyre said: “Shakur will be a world champion within year or two, he is ahead of the competition, the scary thing is that he has not even grown in his manpower yet. ”
Stevenson would say, “I’m excited to be fighting in Nebraska again. The first time I fought here (August 2017 in Lincoln) they warmly welcomed me. Terence’s family gives me a lot of love and support every time I fight on one of his cards. I’m also excited to be the co-principal at a seasoned vet. ”