Oscar Valdez, a fine fighter who has been around for quite some time (a pro since 2012), has now reached star status; his epic win over Miguel Berchelt and the truly stunning KO that came with it elevating the Mexican warrior with skills in terms of fame and recognition.
Shakur Stevenson, who has not been around for half as long as Valdez has, going pro in 2017, has the potential to become a superstar.
Now, Bob Arum is hugely excited in matching these two unbeaten fighters together. In speaking with boxing writer Michael Woods, Arum went as far as to say a Valdez-Stevenson fight is “the biggest fight after Tyson Fury against Anthony Joshua.”
So forget Errol Spence Vs. Terence Crawford, forget Manny Pacquiao Vs. Ryan Garcia, forget Teofimo Lopez Vs. Devin Haney – according to the Top Rank boss, Valdez against Stevenson is the biggest little fight that can be made. And both fighters want it. It should prove pretty easy to make.
And WE want to see it. Valdez, 29-0(23), had a good amateur career, as did the currently 15-0 Stevenson. Both men have won a world title (two in Valdez’s case), and both fighters have great skills. There is no doubt; this one would be big.
Maybe not as big as Arum says, but big. All that Stevenson is lacking is big-fight experience. The 23-year-old has, of course, never faced anyone as good as Valdez. But Stevenson has that look about him, that special look. Stevenson is fast, and the gifted southpaw has some excellent moves.
Right now, as impressed as we all were by Valdez’s brilliance against Berchelt, the 30-year-old will likely be the pick to win in the opinion of most fans but make no mistake, this is a tough fight for both men. Who does Arum pick to win at this extremely early stage?
“Before [the Valdez-Berchelt fight], I would have told you that Shakur was the is favored to win,” Arum told Woods. “But now, after that fight, I’m not saying that. I’m not going against Valdez.”
Indeed, as great as he was on Saturday night in Las Vegas, and as good as he has looked in some of his earlier fights, how can anyone go against Valdez? It will take someone very special to beat him. Is Stevenson the guy? Maybe, maybe not. But it seems as though there is a very good chance we will find out some time this year. 2021 could see some massive fights – massive in stature and massive in terms of excitement – and Valdez Vs. Stevenson could prove to be one of the absolute highlights.
Valdez has other options (a return fight with countryman Berchelt has not been ruled out), but the Stevenson fight and the payday it would likely bring him could be his most attractive option.