WBO super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) put on a boxing clinic on Saturday night, beating WBC champion Oscar Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) like a drum in winning a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision to become a two-belt champion at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
In the sixth, Stevenson knocked Valdez down with a shot when he was attacking in a wild manner.
To be fair, Valdez had no choice but to fight in a reckless manner at times because he was getting dominated in a bad way by Shakur, and didn’t stand a chance there, not with the massive difference between the two.
Valdez, 31, looked almost like a journeyman inside the ring, as he was not competitive at all, and he had no answer for Stevenson’s defensive skills, reflexes, and more importantly his size.
Even if Stevenson’s reflexes, quick feet, and defense weren’t so excellent, Valdez would have never beaten him due to his size advantage. Stevenson looked HUGE inside the ring, as big as any of the welterweights.
He looked as big as unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr tonight. With Stevenson’s size advantage, Valdez had no chance of winning.
The scores were: 117-110, 118-109, and 118-109. Boxing 247 scored it 118-109. At best, you could give Valdez a couple of rounds where Stevenson coasted, but that’s about it.
In the 12th, Shakur, 24, played it safe, using movement rather than going for the kill and finishing strong.
It’s fair to say that if Stevenson had for the kill in the final round, he would have knocked out Valdez or at the very least finished strong, which is what he should have done.
“I told you what I was going to do,” said Stevenson in gloating after his win over Valdez. “I said I’m going to beat Valdez, Canelo, and Eddy Reynoso, so that was my gameplan, beat the whole team and I feel good about it. Much respect to them, but that was my game plan.
“I want to collect all the belts at 130 and become undisputed. I deserve to be a superstar, so that’s what I got to do,” said Stevenson, who looked like a full-fledged welterweight inside the ring tonight.
It’s probably going to consume another year before Stevenson becomes the undisputed champion at 130. As big as Stevenson looked tonight, it might prove difficult for him to stay at super featherweight for long enough to become the undisputed champion.
It would be better for Stevenson physically to move up to 135 in his next fight because it’s going to be hard on his body to make 130 for another two fights.
Moreover, given that the two champions that Stevenson needs to beat to become the undisputed champion at super featherweight aren’t popular, he gains nothing by staying in the weight class to fight them.
If Stevenson moves up to 135, he can fight these excellent fighters:
- Ryan Garcia
- Gervonta Davis
- Rolly Romero
- Vasyl Lomachenko
- George Kambosos Jr
- Devin Haney
For the boxing fans that have been missing Floyd Mayweather Jr. since he retired in 2017, they may have found their replacement in Stevenson. He’s a lot like Mayweather, but not quite as daring as he was during his career.
When Stevenson slows down as he ages, he’ll be more exciting to watch because he’s got the legs still to avoid pressure fighters.