Stevenson can assert himself in the ‘Tank’ conversations if he shines tonight

Although negotiations between representatives of Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Vasiliy Lomachenko are ongoing, Shakur Stevenson has the opportunity to interrupt the conversation.

On Friday’s episode of ProBox TV’s “Deep Waters,” analyst and former welterweight world champion Shawn Porter said undefeated three-division champion Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) can dramatically increase the chances of a showdown with Davis with a convincing victory on Saturday night.

In his final fight with promoter Top Rank, Stevenson, 27, will face Armenia’s Artem Harutyunyan (12-1, 7 KOs) in a hometown fight at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on ESPN.

“I know everyone is talking about a Lomachenko-‘Tank’ Davis fight, but that fight is way past its prime,” Porter said, referring to Lomachenko’s age (36) and his two losses to Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney.

“Lomachenko is not the same fighter he was five years ago, when everyone started talking about Lomachenko and ‘Tank.’ And ‘Tank’ was not who he was five years ago.”

That’s what makes this now the ideal intersection of careers for Davis, a 29-year-old three-division champion (30-0, 28 KOs), and Stevenson.

“They’re both ready. Shakur has everything to beat Artem and I hope he looks good doing it,” Porter said. “I think (Davis) is next for him.”

The push for Davis to fight Stevenson was diminished by Stevenson’s dormant WBC lightweight title win over Edwin De Los Santos in November.

And Porter’s fellow analyst, former 140-pound champion Chris Algieri, said it’s imperative that if Stevenson has any hope of delivering “the fight we all want,” he must realize it’s about “the fight in front of him… it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about how he looks.”

Algieri assessed: “I feel like Shakur is going to try to get (Harutyunyan) out of there, which would be a big statement.”

Recent lightweight title challenger Frank Martin was unable to finish Harutyunyan, and their scorecards were close.

“Artem, stylistically, can make Shakur look good, and Shakur should take advantage of that opportunity because he’s now in a position where that ultimate goal of a fight with ‘Tank’ Davis is within his reach,” Algieri said.