Stevenson, Gonzalez reach deal on title fight

A deal was agreed to Friday night for a vacant featherweight world title fight between unbeaten up-and-comers Shakur Stevenson and Joet Gonzalez, representatives for both fighters told ESPN.

Carl Moretti, vice president of Top Rank, which promotes Stevenson, and Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez, Gonzalez's promoter, said they have agreed to terms for the bout, which will take place as the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ card Oct. 26 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada.

The sides came to an agreement well ahead of a purse bid for the fight, which was scheduled for Sept. 14 in the lobby of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Gomez said he is awaiting paperwork from Top Rank.

"Devil is in the details," he said. "I need a contract from Top Rank and then Joet and [manager] Frank [Espinoza] have to sign off on it, but Carl and I are good."

A formal announcement is slated to take place Sept. 13 at a news conference at the MGM Grand at which Top Rank plans to unveil several of its fall main events.

Stevenson-Gonzalez was mandated after Oscar Valdez elected to vacate the WBO featherweight title and move up to the junior lightweight division.

Stevenson (12-0, 7 KOs), 22, a southpaw from Newark, New Jersey, and a 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, was Valdez's mandatory challenger. When the title became vacant, Gonzalez (23-0, 14 KOs), 25, of Los Angeles, was the next in line and ordered to face Stevenson for the belt.

Both fighters are coming off recent knockout victories on the same night, but on different cards on opposite sides of the country.

Gonzalez knocked out fringe contender Manuel Avila in the sixth round July 13 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, and Stevenson drilled Alberto Guevara in the third round of a homecoming fight at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Both fighters will be taking a step up in competition as they vie for a world title.

"This is by far the toughest fight for each guy," Moretti said. "We didn't care where the fight ended up. We know how good Shakur Stevenson is and fully expect him to win his first of many world titles that night. He's special."