Shakur Stevenson vs Oscar Valdez needs to happen next year
When looking ahead into next year, there are plenty of fights to get excited about. Two fights on everyone’s mind is, of course, unified welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence (27-0, 21ko) facing WBO champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (37-0, 28ko). Equally important, fans are eager to see the crowing of an undisputed heavyweight champion when unified champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-1, 22ko) gets in the ring with the WBC champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury (30-0-1, 21ko). However, there is a fight that is going under the radar and has been building for quite some time. Top Rank fighters and former WBO featherweight champions Oscar Valdez (28-0, 22ko) and Shakur “Fearless” Stevenson (15-0, 8ko) have teased fans since 2019.
LOOKING BACK ON CROSSED PATHS
The first time their paths crossed was in 2019. Then WBO champion Valdez was ordered to face mandatory challenger Stevenson. However, Team Valdez announced how their fighter was struggling to make weight. Thus him vacating the titles and moving up in weight.
Stevenson went on to fight for the vacated title against Joet Gonzalez (24-1, 14ko). Furthermore, what made this fight interesting was Fearless was dating Gonzalez’s sister at that time. Now going into the year 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Consequently, Stevenson never got a chance to defend the title and would return in June at junior lightweight.
POSSIBLE 2021 SHOWDOWN
Now that both fighters are campaigning at junior lightweight, it seems they cannot avoid meeting in the ring, and at some point, it is bound to happen. Besides, Stevenson still has an eye on facing his fellow stablemate, claiming they have unfinished business. Furthermore, looking at the rankings, both former champions are ranked in the top two spots respectively by the WBO and WBC organizations.
Valdez has a date with WBC champion Miguel “El Alacaran” Berchelt (37-1, 33ko) in the Bubble at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas on February 20, 2021. Fearless is the mandatory challenger to the winner between WBO champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (22-2, 10ko) and two-divisional champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (28-2, 16ko).
Now, imagine if both men are successful in attaining world championships. Moreover, making this a huge unification bout, and with so much at risk, is a nice payday for both the former champions.
Before we go too far, keep in mind Valdez will have his hands full with the WBC champion. Nevertheless, this fight has been in the making for almost two years. Should we get it, fans would not mind seeing these two young lions locking horns in 2021.
By: Garrisson Bland