Shakur Stevenson believes he is the sport’s next superstar and a good deal of people agree with him. This Saturday, the 23-year-old southpaw faces Jeremiah Nakathila of South Africe, in a fight that will contest the WBO 130 pound interim title. But already, Stevenson is looking at a much bigger fight. In fact, Stevenson is absolutely demanding a much bigger fight – one with Oscar Valdez.
As he made clear when speaking with ESPN.com, Stevenson is tired of waiting for the big, big fights. At just 15-0(8) Stevenson has already won a world title and he feels he is approaching his prime years as a fighter. Stevenson says a fight between he and Valdez (last seen scoring that chilling KO of Miguel Berchelt to become, arguably, the best in the world at 130 pounds) is the best that can be made at the weight.
Stevenson wants this fight next but according to the ESPN piece, the plan is for Stevenson (if victorious on Saturday of course) to next fight Jamel Herring, for his WBO 130 pound title, with the winner of that one to then fight WBC champ Valdez in a big unification clash. It’s the Valdez fight that excites Stevenson.
“Valdez and me is the biggest fight out there at 130,” Stevenson said. “He’s a young and hungry lion, undefeated, never lost before. I’m a young hungry lion, also undefeated, never lost before. He’s in his prime. I’m pushing up on my prime. I feel like it has to be next. It’s been a long time coming. What are we waiting for? We are both with Top Rank. It shouldn’t be a hard fight to make.”
Bob Arum said to Yahoo! Sports yesterday, explaining how one of the biggest problems with Stevenson is that he wants all the big fights right now. Arum says they have had to hold Stevenson back. Assuming he does beat Nakathila, 21-1(17) on Saturday, a Stevenson-Herring fight would be very interesting, and the winner against Valdez would be great.
Stevenson wants to become the next face of boxing. Maybe he has all the necessary ingredients to do just that.