Oscar Valdez Hungry for Victory Over Shakur Stevenson
On April 30, Oscar Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) puts the WBC junior lightweight title in a 130-pound unification match against WBO champ Shakur Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. It’s a match that’s been talked about for years. In pre-fight interviews, Stevenson has stated that Valdez was never eager to fight him.
But during a conference call with boxing media, the WBC champ says that is far from the case. He’s fed up with Stevenson’s accusations and is looking forward to the challenge.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
“This is the fight that people have been wanting for a long time. Shakur has been mentioning my name for quite some time already since I was a featherweight. It got under my skin, after hearing so many times that we were scared of him, we were ducking him. That was never the case. We were just always looking for bigger and better fights.
Now, Shakur is a two-division world champion. He’s the current WBO world champion; I’m the WBC world champion. It makes perfect sense to define who is the best fighter at 130 pounds. So, I’m very excited for this. I have been taking this fight very seriously. Training camp has been going so well […] I’m going to do whatever it takes to go back home victorious.”
Valdez is facing a Stevenson who has been renowned for his boxing skills. Many fans and pundits are under the assumption he has to make this a war. But the 31-year-old was adamant that he brings his own set of skills to the contest. To defeat a slickster such as Stevenson, Valdez believes you need both high ring IQ plus the ability to make it a dogfight.
2021 was a year of highs and lows for the WBC champ. In February of that year, he scored a career-best win when he knocked out Miguel Berchelt in ten to capture the title. So sensational was the KO that it was named 3Kings Boxing’s Knockout of the Year.
What followed was a questionable decision victory over Robson Conceicao in September 2021. Valdez not only faced criticism for his performance, but also for being allowed to fight after failing a pre-fight drug test. But for the upcoming unification showdown with Stevenson, he’s wiping the slate clean and plans to be at his very best.
FULLY AWARE OF WHAT HE’S UP AGAINST
“Every time there’s higher competition, I rise to the competition. So, we know Shakur Stevenson is a good fighter. We know he’s a good boxer. So it’s going to make me bring the best out of myself.
So, I’m very focused. The Miguel Berchelt fight was one of my best. Then after that, it wasn’t my best performance at the end of my career. But that has transformed me into the fighter that I am right now. I’m going in there very focused, very concentrated, physically and mentally prepared for this new opposition.”
The underdog according to oddsmakers, Valdez embraces the underdog role. He’s itching to silence the critics as he wants to go down as one of the best of his era and one of the best in Mexican boxing history. Valdez ended the media call with this one last message for the fans.
“As for the fight, we have to be prepared for whatever he brings. So, we have a plan A and a plan B. If he wants to box, we will pressure him, go to the body, and cut the ring. Whatever we have to do to break that barrier. We’re prepared for whatever he brings.”
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By: Michael Wilson Jr.