By: Hans Themistode
Throughout Shakur Stevenson’s relatively short career, the 24-year-old has already produced several jaw-dropping performances.
In 2019, Stevenson dominated former title challenger, Christopher Diaz. To cap off his year, Stevenson handed Joet Gonzalez the first defeat of his career. To kick off his 2021 campaign, Stevenson thoroughly outboxed Jamel Herring, before violently stopping him, resulting in Stevenson’s first world title at 130 pounds. This past weekend, on April 30th, Stevenson believes he constructed another masterpiece.
On the night, Stevenson carefully dissected Oscar Valdez. Following five fairly lopsided rounds, Stevenson nearly closed the show, sending the rough and rugged Mexican native to the canvas in the sixth, before cruising to a unanimous decision victory. As Stevenson reflects on the totality of his career, he admits that his showing against Valdez is one that stands out.
“That was one of my best performances,” said Stevenson to Sky Sports Boxing. “Oscar Valdez was a tough fighter. He was a fighter who came to win.”
As Stevenson eludes to, Valdez was both defiant and relentless throughout the course of the night. However, thanks to Stevenson’s defensive brilliance, Valdez’s efforts were ultimately in vain.
Well before Stevenson sauntered his way through a pro-Valdez crowd, the former Olympic silver medalist had grown agitated with the constant chatter surrounding his bout against Valdez. At the age of 31, and sporting a then, undefeated record through 30 career bouts, Valdez had successfully defeated a who’s who of fighters.
Although Stevenson was still considered a sizable favorite, many were of the belief that his upcoming bout was a bridge simply too wide for Stevenson to cross at this very moment. But, despite the dubious voices, Stevenson warned his naysayers of what was to come. Now, with what Stevenson considers a career-defining victory, the now unified champion at 130 pounds is convinced that his name should be mentioned amongst the best fighters in the world.
“I heard a lot of people asking was this moment going to be too much for me. I told y’all, I shine bright in the brightest moments. I’m a superstar and I’m going to continue to be a superstar. I feel like I deserve to be pound-for-pound.”
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