Shakur Stevenson overwhelms Oscar Valdez to unify super featherweight titles

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Combat columnist
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

LAS VEGAS — Shakur Stevenson unified the WBC and WBO super featherweight titles before a lively crowd of 10,102 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena by outboxing and befuddling Oscar Valdez.

It wasn’t close from the opening seconds, as Stevenson’s speed and punching accuracy was far too much for Valdez to handle. Judges had it 118-109 twice and 117-110. Yahoo Sports had it 117-110 for Stevenson.

Valdez, with noted trainer Eddy Reynoso in his corner, never made adjustments and spent much of the night following Stevenson. Stevenson peppered him with a jab that was consistent from beginning to end, and followed it occasionally with hooks to the body or straight right hands to the head.

Valdez kept trying to throw lead right hands and hooks to the body. He had some success with the hook, but not nearly enough, and his right hands were consistently coming up short.

Stevenson, a silver medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was far too quick and savvy in the ring. He was brilliant defensively, slipping many of Valdez’s biggest shots.

He didn’t run, as Valdez predicted he would, until the final seconds of the fight when he raised his arms skyward in celebration and flexed as Valdez was still chasing him.

He’s a brilliant boxer who took his game to another level on this night in the face of a loud and enthusiastic crowd rooting hard against him.

Stevenson scored the fight’s only knockdown, dropping Valdez in the sixth. Stevenson threw a right and Valdez backed up. He appeared to slip and Stevenson threw a left simultaneously.

Valdez went down and because Stevenson had thrown a punch, it was ruled a knockdown. Valdez wasn’t hurt and briefly complained to referee Kenny Bayless, but it didn’t make a difference.

Valdez went long stretches without putting Stevenson on the ropes, and that’s where his best chance was to win. Stevenson excelled when the fight was in the middle of the ring and he kept it there most of the time.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 30:  WBO junior lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson poses with belts after defeating WBC champion Oscar Valdez in a title unification fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Stevenson took the WBC title by unanimous decision.  (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 30: WBO junior lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson poses with belts after defeating WBC champion Oscar Valdez in a title unification fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Stevenson took the WBC title by unanimous decision. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting