WBA 130-lb champion Shakur Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) outboxed WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) by a 12-round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Valdez, 31, was knocked down in the sixth round, and completely outclassed the entire fight.
The scores were: 117-110, 118-109, and 118-109.
Unbeaten lightweight prospect Keyshawn Davis (5-0, 4 KOs) teed off on Esteban Sanchez (18-2, 8 KOs), hitting him at will with pinpoint power shots to score a sixth-round knockout. The fight was halted in the sixth round due to Sanchez absorbing too much oneway punishment from Keyshawn. The official time at at 2:44 mark.
“We know Shakur Stevenson is a tough fighter, we know he’s a great fighter, but I rise with the competition as well, and that’s what I plan to do,” said Oscar Valdez to Top Rank Boxing.
“Is this redemption for you in some way, coming off a sensational performance against [Miguel] Berchelt?” said Max Kellerman to Valdez.
“You’re on top of the world, and then what you’ve been through since that fight, you see this fight as possible redemption for you in boxing circles.”
“Absolutely, but I’m extremely focused on what I have in front of me,” said Valdez.
“What’s done was done in the past, including the Berchelt fight, including the [Robson] Conceicao and all the other fights that were great. That was in the past. Right now, I’m very focused on the main object for this fight,” said Valdez.
“I would think that Stevenson because of his body of work deserves to be the favorite, but I wouldn’t count Oscar Valdez out,” said promoter Bob Arum to Fighthype.
“One thing you have to understand is Oscar relied heavily on Eddy Reynoso, who convinced him to do this fight, and that tells you a lot.
“That they feel they have a big chance to win the fight, and Reynoso is a real smart boxing guy. They discarded doing the [Emmanuel] Navarrete fight and started instituting talks with me to fight the winner of Shakur against [Jamel] Herring, which is when the talks started.
“There’s no question about it that without Reynoso, this fight would have never happened,” said Arum about why the Valdez vs. Stevenson fight is happening.
“That’s a tough fight,” said Tim Bradley to K.O. Artists Sports on tonight’s fight between Valdez and Shakur. “Shakur, we know he’s superiorly skilled, and judging by his last fight, everybody is saying, ‘Oh, yeah,’ and judging what he was able to do against Herring, but Valdez is a different animal, dude.
“This dude is a winner, and judging by his last fight when he fought over there, he was dealing with a lot. He was dealing with me all down his throat and all the media down his throat.
“Mentally, if a guy doesn’t come into the ring with a clear state of mind, it’s going to affect his performance, and that’s what happened. He was going through a hell of a lot,” said Bradley about Valdez’s recent less than impressive effort last September against Robson Conceicao.
“I take nothing away from what Conceicao did in the ring. Conceicao had a great game plan. But in the second half, six rounds on, he gave the fight away. I’m going to favor Shakur Stevenson because of the distance control.
“When you can put a line on the ground like Bruce Lee and dare them to cross it when you can do that, which we’ve seen Shakur do that, it’s hard to beat guys like that.
“I’ve seen in the past that Valdez does struggle with movers, he does. He’s another one that struggles with movers.
“He likes guys that sit still, but he also has little ways of catching up with guys, as he showed in the Conceicao fight by cutting off the ring, digging to the left, digging to the right, and just wearing on guys with his physical presence.
“This dude [Valdez] is a two-division world champion and has fought multiple undefeated guys. This isn’t his first day at the radio, this guy is vicious, and he knocked out Berchelt, the boogieman.
“Still, skills pay the bills. Shakur Stevenson, I got to go with him,” said Bradley.
Highly skilled WBO super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson goes up against unbeaten WBC champion Oscar Valdez in their long-overdue fight tonight on ESPN.
Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) has been badgering the former two-division world champion Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) for over a year, and he’s getting the opportunity tonight to test whether he’s up to the mark against the popular Mexican warrior.