Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez have agreed to the financial terms and currently signing off on their contracts for their 130-lb unification fight on April 30th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The winner of the Stevenson vs. Valdez fight will be a two-belt champion at 130, and will likely target the other two belts in the division.
Promoter Bob Arum is reporting that WBO super featherweight champion Shakur (17-0, 9 KOs) and WBC champion Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) have received their contracts and he expects them both to sign and send them back to him.
It’s unknown what made the 31-year-old Valdez finally agree to take this fight with Stevenson, as many boxing fans believe that the Mexican slugger is afraid of Shakur and wants no part of him.
Did Arum have to twist Valdez’s arm to get him to agree to the fight with the 24-year-old Stevenson or does Oscar believe he can win? What’s interesting is that Arum says Valdez’s trainer Eddy Reynoso wants this fight for him.
Reynoso is the trainer/manager for Canelo Alvarez, and he’s gained a quick reputation for choosing only sure-thing opposition for the red-headed Mexican star since late 2018.
For Reynoso to be in favor of Valdez taking on a talented fighter like the 2016 Olympic silver medalist Stevenson, it suggests that he’s thoroughly scouted out Shakur like a scientist and believes he can win this fight.
“Jeremy Kogel, our business affairs guy in general council, has sent out the contracts [to Valdez and Shakur], and we’re anticipating they’ll come back signed,” Arum said to Fighthype. “I think it’s done.
“At the MGM Grand [in Las Vegas] on April 30th,” Arum said when asked where the Valdez vs. Shakur fight will be staged .“We wouldn’t have done it if [Oscar] Valdez was reluctant. Eddie Reynoso wanted that fight as well.”
For the heavy-handed Oscar Valdez to win, he’s got to raise his game from the last performance fans saw of him against Robson Conceicao. Valdez was almost beaten by the Brazilian Conceicao last August in Tucson, Arizona.
That was a bad effort from Valdez, but he had his hand raised at the end and he doesn’t seem to mind that virtually the entire boxing world had him losing.
Shakur showed off his newfound power last October with a tenth round knockout win over WBO 130-lb champion in Atlanta. The Newark, New Jersey native Shakur showed off more offense than boxing fans had seen from him in the past, and it was nice to see him fighting with more aggression.
In Stevenson’s previous fight against Jeremia Nakathila last June, he played it safe, darting away each time he’d land a punch on the Namibian native.
It looked to some like Stevenson was playing a game of tag at times, as he showed no desire to stand in front of Nakathilia after getting a small taste of his power in the fourth round.