By: Hans Themistode
At one point in time, Shakur Stevenson was convinced that this day would never come.
Having fought his way to mandatory status in the WBO sanctioning body at 126 pounds, Stevenson was ecstatic over his possible showdown against then belt holder, Oscar Valdez. However, in a move that Stevenson considers “ducking”, Valdez opted against facing him and would move up in weight.
It was a sagacious move on the part of Valdez, as he would go on mercilessly pound Miguel Berchelt, ultimately resulting in the Mexican star being crowned WBC champion. Shortly after planting his flag at 130 pounds, Stevenson quickly joined him.
The former Olympic silver medalist would reel off three consecutive victories as a full-blown super featherweight before truncating the world title reign of Jamel Herring. Immediately after wrapping his waist with gold, Stevenson turned his attention toward Valdez.
Now, after poking and antagonizing his man, Stevenson and Valdez will square off this weekend, April 30th, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although Stevenson is only 24 years of age, the crafty southpaw believes he’s a historian of the sport. With Stevenson being more than capable of discussing the careers of former great fighters, he’s more interested in centering his conversation on the hard-paying consumer.
While Stevenson enjoys performing for his diehard fans, he’s well aware of the vitriol that will be spewed in his direction if he were to come up short.
“My mindset is, whatever it takes to win,” said Stevenson to Crystina Poncher. “They gonna love you when you winning, they gonna hate you if you lose.”
Currently pegged as a sizable favorite to keep his undefeated record intact, Stevenson isn’t taking Valdez lightly. Although the former Olympic silver medalist has chastised Valdez while pushing the narrative that the current WBC champion wanted no part of their upcoming fight, he does, wholeheartedly, respect Valdez’s skills.
In fact, Stevenson is of the belief that Valdez was simply given a raw deal. If anyone other than himself was stepping into the ring against the two-division titlist, Stevenson would give Valdez the edge. However, with Stevenson believing that his skillset is amongst the very best in all of boxing, he’ll look to put on a show this coming Saturday night.
“I feel like if he was fighting somebody else, another fighter that’s not on my level, he would beat them. But, I think that he’s in for it with me because I’m a special talent.”
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