Home Boxing News Shakur Stevenson ready to announce himself to the world with victory over...

Shakur Stevenson ready to announce himself to the world with victory over Oscar Valdez

Shakur Stevenson. Photo credit: Adam Hunger/Associated Press

WBO super featherweight champion Shakur ‘Fearless’ Stevenson 17-0 (9) is looking forward to proving he belongs at the upper echelon of the 130-pound division when he faces WBC boss Oscar Valdez 30-0 (23) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old southpaw, who hails from Newark, New Jersey, won the vacant WBO featherweight title against then-undefeated Joet Gonzalez 25-2 (15) on points in Reno, Nevada in October 2019.

Stevenson immediately dumped the title and moved up a weight class where he fought twice before facing Jeremia ‘Low Key’ Nakathila 23-2 (19) for the interim WBO belt in Las Vegas in June 2021. He decked the Namibian in the fourth and went on to pitch a shutout by scores of 120-107 across the board.

Last October Stevenson dethroned Jamel ‘Semper Fi’ Herring 23-3 (11) by 10th round stoppage in Atlanta, Georgia to claim the WBO super featherweight title.

“We are back in Las Vegas for training camp and everything is going great,” Stevenson said. “My grandfather and my team have me looking and feeling super sharp and everyone is going to see the results of all this hard work on April 30.”

Mexican Valdez, 31, enters the bout with solid credentials of his own. The former WBO featherweight champion made four defences of that crown before moving up to the 130-pound weight class in November 2019.

In his third fight at super featherweight he delivered the best performance of his career when he scored a highlight reel 10th round knockout of Miguel Berchelt 38-3 (34) in Las Vegas to lift the WBC bauble in February last year.

Berchelt was down in rounds four, nine and 10. Valdez was leading the bout by scores of 87-82, 89-80 and 88-81 at the time of the stoppage. In his lone title defence in Tuscon, Arizona last September, he outpointed Robson Conceicao 17-1 (8) in a competitive fight.

Stevenson says he has always wanted to face Valdez.

“This fight is three years in the making,” he said. “Everyone knows that I’ve wanted to fight Oscar Valdez since 2019 when he vacated his belt at 126 instead of fighting me. He avoided me for as long as he could, but now is the perfect time for this fight and the fans are in for a show when we finally step into the ring.

“I am the best 130-pound fighter in the world, and I will prove it when I beat Oscar Valdez and become unified champion. I won’t stop there, though. I want to become an undisputed champion at 130, and beating Oscar Valdez is the next step.

“The world hasn’t seen everything that Shakur Stevenson can do in a boxing ring yet. I am boxing’s next superstar, and my performance on April 30 is going to prove it. Come out to the MGM Grand or tune in on ESPN because you don’t want to miss this fight.”