By: Hans Themistode
Looking ahead is never a good thing in boxing. Especially when you have an opponent standing right in front of you. Later on tonight, Shakur Stevenson will see what it feels like to fight in another weight class. The WBO Featherweight titlist is dipping his toe in the Super Featherweight division in his contest against Felix Caraballo.
According to oddsmakers, Stevenson is expected to win handily as he’s been tabbed as high as a 75-1 favorite. Meaning, in order to win $100 on Stevenson, you would have to wager a mere $7,500. In short, this is Stevenson’s fight to lose.
If the WBO belt holder does what most expect him to do, which it is dominate, then a showdown with Oscar Valdez could be in his not so distant future. Stevenson fought his way to the mandatory position to Valdez and his WBO strap. Instead of taking on Stevenson, Valdez dropped the belt and headed over to the Super Featherweight division. Stevenson didn’t sweat his decision though, winning the vacant title against Joet Gonzalez shortly after.
The two may not have been able to step into the ring against one another at 126 pounds, but now that they both currently reside at 130, Stevenson has an eye on him.
“I think Valdez is another one who knows my style isn’t for him,” Stevenson told BoxingScene.com. “I think he knows me and him don’t mix. He knows I would beat him easily. I think he knows that, but he just said in an interview that he wasn’t ducking me. He said everyone thinks that’s what it is, but he’s not ducking me. He’s going for Berchelt first and stuff like that. So, we’ll see when the time comes.”
Before Stevenson jumps to the head of the Oscar Valdez line, Miguel Berchelt will get the first crack at him. The two were on course to face off in May of this year for Berchelt’s WBC title. Of course, like every other boxing event over the past three months though, COVID-19 had other plans.
Now that the business of boxing is picking back up, they are now back on track for a showdown this year. A date is not definitively set in stone, but promoter Bob Arum has recently revealed to Boxingscene.com that the two will clash later on this year.
Both Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs) and Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) give a whole new meaning to the term “throwing leather.” Throughout the course of their careers, they’ve shown that they can give just as much as they can take. Which makes picking a winner that much more difficult for Stevenson.
“I think that Berchelt will win because he’s bigger and stronger than Valdez,” Stevenson said. “But Valdez might surprise people. It really depends with them two who lands the best punch, because they both will be throwing bombs. I don’t know that Berchelt’s defense is that good, and Valdez throws a lot of power punches. I don’t know. We’ll have to see.”