Shakur Stevenson has accepted frustrating boxing politics
In roughly two month’s time, super featherweight fighter “Fearless” Shakur Stevenson (16-0, 8 KO’s) will attempt to capture his second WBO world title. This time, on October 23, Stevenson will test his might against WBO super featherweight champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (23-2, 11 KO’s). His first crack at a world title took place on October 26, 2019 when he squared-off with rival Joet Gonzalez for the vacant WBO featherweight strap.
There is no question that Stevenson is happy to be involved in another title fight. If victorious, the New Jersey native understands that his stock will rise and bargaining power at the negotiating table will strengthen. Even while bearing this in mind, Stevenson still acknowledges that this is not the fight he wanted. If given his preference, as he explained to Fight Hype, he would have squared-off with WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (29-0, 23 KO’s). Stevenson has doggedly pursued a showdown with Valdez since they both were doing their tours of duty at featherweight.
“I would have took Oscar Valdez first, just because of the fact that Oscar Valdez is a young, undefeated fighter, never lost, nobody beat him, it’s more of an attraction. He a Mexican fighter, I’m black. Mexican versus black makes big, big fights! I would have took Oscar Valdez, but it makes a bigger fight after I go get this belt and take it from Jamel. And then me and Oscar can go square it out…I want to take that fight right after this one!”
TALK DON’T EQUAL YOUR WALK!
Despite his consistent call outs, Valdez has never made any serious effort to make a fight with Fearless. Of course, there is a part of him that is frustrated with the situation. Yet, at the same time, the gifted boxer is seasoned enough to not waste too much time wrestling with the politics of the day.
“Like I say, it’s still politics at the end of the day. Oscar Valdez is making Top Rank money and he is going to be able to sell out arenas after that win he just had with [Miguel] Berchelt. And they want to use him to their advantage, so I don’t think that they are in a rush to throw him in with me!”
“…at the end of the day it’s business. I used to sit back and complain and I still, feel me, sit back and complain, but that ain’t really going to do too much. They in control, they in power; but I will tell the world that they love Oscar Valdez and they don’t want me to be in the ring with Oscar Valdez because they know what’s going to happen! And Oscar Valdez don’t want it to happen either! So he can sit there after a fight and go, ‘I want to fight Shakur Stevenson,’ but when we reach out it ain’t no talks into me and him fighting. He going to say it during an interview, but he ain’t really jumping towards it. He don’t want that.”
Clearly Stevenson is betting on himself in all scenarios, regardless of who the opposition is. Yet, before he loses too much sleep thinking about Valdez, he must first handle his business with Herring! So let’s wait and see what happens on October 23.
By: Bakari Simpson