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  • Miguel Maravilla

Shakur Stevenson Looks to Unify & Become A Superstar

Photo - Mikey Williams/Top Rank

WBO champion Shakur Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) of Newark, New Jersey hopes to unify the super featherweight titles as he takes on WBC champion Oscar Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) of Tucson by way of Nogales, Sonora in a super featherweight unification showdown this Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on ESPN.

“I am ready in great shape feeling good and ready to fight. I want to show everyone how great I am,” Shakur Stevenson said. “I want to unify the division. I am motivated and trying to put on a show. I must get Valdez out of the way,”

Having wrapped up his camp, Stevenson is ready for the challenge in Valdez.

We are back in Las Vegas for training camp, and everything is great. My grandfather and my team have me looking and feeling super sharp, and everyone is going to see the results,”

Stevenson’s rise to the top has been a fast one as he turned professional following his 2016 Silver medal at the 2016 Olympics. Winning his first world title in 2019, with a dominating performance with a unanimous decision over Joet Gonzalez and winning the WBO featherweight title.

“The only person with the will power coming close to Oscar is Joet but he couldn’t keep with my skills set,”

Shakur is coming off a statement win over Jamel Herring in winning the WBO super featherweight title. Scoring a stoppage over the tough champion in as Stevenson finished him off in ten rounds and setting the stage for the unification showdown with Valdez.

"The world hasn’t seen everything that Shakur Stevenson can do in a boxing ring yet,”

Valdez won a unanimous decision over Brazil’s 2016 Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao in his last fight as he was defending his title for the first time. Prior to his first title defense, Valdez tested positive for a banned substance phentermine, but was allowed to fight and defend his title after the local commission, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Athletic Commission in Tucson, Arizona allowed Valdez to defend his title. In his previous fight, Valdez scored a huge knockout of the year over Miguel Berchelt to win the WBC super featherweight title.

“Oscar is a great fighter. 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,

Despite that, Valdez has seen it all and become a fan-friendly fighter as he has been in some battles. Suffering a broken jaw against Scott Quigg in winning a decision as well as coming off the canvas against Adam Lopez and Genesis Servania.

“I have been in boxing for 19 years. I am a great fighter, and he is great fighter, but I don’t necessarily feel experience will be a factor. I am coming to win,”

With a win, Stevenson will hold half of the titles in the super featherweight division, the other titles and champions include WBA champ Roger Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KO’s) of Venezuela, and Japan’s IBF champion Kenichi Ogawa (26-1-1, 18 KO’s).

“I think it’s important to unify. I will try to get every belt. I must get pass Oscar first. I am focused on April 30th,”

Perhaps this can be, Stevenson’s moment that can catapult him to become a superstar. Fighting under Bob Arum and Top Rank, Shakur is on the right path as he is teamed with the same promoter that promoted Muhammad Ali, made Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Manny Pacquiao the stars they are today.

“After this fight I should become a big star. I will be having two belts,”

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum talked about Stevenson and the magnitude of this matchup.

“We signed Shakur we knew he would be a superstar and if the weights with Valdez coincided, they would fight each other. We have two great fighters willing to fight each other. This is wonderful for the sport,”

There is no question that this is the biggest fight of Stevenson’s career up to date taking on the undefeated and explosive Oscar Valdez. Similar as to when Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the late Diego Corrales squared off in what was a matchup between two undefeated young fighters with star potential.

“I feel like this is a big fight a big risk because he is a big champion. I will become the next Pay per view superstar,”

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