By: Hans Themistode
Shakur Stevenson began growing impatient as a showdown between himself and Oscar Valdez grew more and more unlikely.
Immediately following his 10th round stoppage win over Jamel Herring, to relieve the former marine of his WBO 130 pound title, Stevenson swiftly turned his attention towards Valdez and his WBC title. However, in the mind of Bob Arum, Stevenson’s promoter, he expressed a desire to match Stevenson against former WBC belt holder Miguel Berchelt. In the meanwhile, Arum also indicated that a matchup between Valdez and WBO 126 pound titlist Emanuel Navarrete, was firmly in his sights.
In Arum’s perfect world, the winners of those contests would then meet in a unification bout. While Valdez appeared open to the idea, Stevenson scoffed at prolonging his showdown against Valdez.
Despite Arum’s original thoughts, Stevenson is now on the verge of landing his first unification bout.
As first reported by Dan Rafael, formerly of ESPN, both team Valdez and team Stevenson are nearing a deal for a two belt 130 pound unification. Though the finish line is within reach, there are still a few small details that are left to be ironed out. As of now, their contest is expected to take place on April 30th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Valdez, 31, strung together arguably the best year of his career in 2021. To start things off, Valdez walked into his showdown against the previously mentioned Berchelt as a considerable underdog. Despite the odds, Valdez dominated, dropping the heavy-hitting former titlist a total of three times before scoring a brutal stoppage victory in the 10th.
Shortly after nabbing Berchelt’s WBC crown, Valdez eked out a close and somewhat controversial unanimous decision over Robson Conceicao.
Should Stevenson successfully dethrone Valdez and reign as unified champion, the 24-year-old no longer wants to see any pound-for-pound lists without his name near the top.
“My next opponent gone be a big surprise,” said Stevenson on his social media account. “Pound for pound me please.”
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