THE briefly retired Shakur Stevenson will make his return to the ring on July 6.

Stevenson, who announced on X/Twitter in January that he was “officially retiring from the sport”, will fight at the Prudential Centre in Newark for the fourth time in his career. The news was first reported by writer Dan Rafael.

The gifted Newark-born WBC lightweight belt holder won his third strap, having won two previously at super-featherweight, by beating Edwin De Los Santos in a forgettable fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas four months ago. Stevenson then faced a backlash for his performance which was low on excitement and in the number of punches thrown.

In his 21 fights to date 10 haven’t gone the distance while the other 11 have seen Stevenson win wide on the scorecards. Credible opponents such as Jamel Herring and Oscar Valdez, for example, never looked like winning and were soundly beaten over 12 rounds.

Meanwhile, the 135lbs division will crown a new belt holder on May 12 when the IBF title is contested by George Kambosos and Vasyl Lomachenko in Australia. Elsewhere at lightweight Gervonta Davis holds the WBA strap while a fight for the vacant WBO belt is expected to be between Emanuel Navarrete and Denys Berinchyk in May.

One name rumoured to be in the running to face Stevenson on July 6 is his Top Rank stablemate and rising star Raymond Muratalla, 19-0 (16). The 27-year-old Californian is due to fight on March 29 on the Oscar Valdez-Liam Wilson undercard against Argentina’s Agustin Ezequiel Quintana, 19-2-1 (13 KOs). However, Muratalla’s trainer Robert Garcia responded to online speculation on X/Twitter denying that a fight between Muratalla and Stevenson was official.