Oscar Valdez picks Shakur Stevenson to beat Jamel Herring for the title
WBC junior lightweight champion Oscar Valdez is still looking towards fighting the winner of WBO champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring and former WBO featherweight champion Shakur “Fearless” Stevenson. Moreover, he believes that Stevenson will be the victor.
Valdez (30-0, 23ko) had to overcome a tough challenge in his last defense against former 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Robson “Nino” Conceicao (16-1, 8ko). In a close fight overshadowed by one judge’s scorecard, Valdez admits to not being very happy about his performance in an interview with 3kingsboxing.com affiliate Brawlers Sports Media.
“It was one of my worst performances in my career. I did not feel that good with my performance. I was not too happy with myself that night. Something was off; I did not feel like myself that day. It was a close fight, I can agree with that. I personally think I won the fight….I take my hat off to Conceicao for giving it his best that night.”
Typically when given time to reflect, fighters are honest about how they looked in the fight. Valdez’s answer should not come as a big surprise. The WBC champion, after retaining the title, quickly called for a unification fight with the winner of Herring versus Stevenson.
A UNIFICATION IS NEXT
Valdez would double down on wanting the unification and revealed that Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum was onboard with the unification taking place next. Furthermore, he went on to say that Fearless would be the winner.
“That’s the fight that we have been wanting. Bob Arum said after this fight, the winner of Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson by early 2022.”
“The main guy said it. As a champion, that is what we are supposed to do is fight the best. I think it is time. Shakur Stevenson has been mentioning my name a lot. It is going to be a tough fight for both sides, a very technical fight, but I see Shakur Stevenson winning that fight.”
DO NOT COUNT THE CHAMPION OUT JUST YET
The WBO champion probably will not take to kindly hearing that. However, he has been counted out before, so he will not be too surprised. Herring shocked the boxing community twice before. The first time was defeating Masayuki Ito to win the title back in 2019, derailing plans for a unification bout with then WBC champion Miguel Berchelt.
Ironically, Valdez went on to score a meme-style tenth-round knockout against Berchelt en route to becoming a two-divisional champion on February 20.
Herring really turned heads upside down with an outstanding performance against former two-divisional champion Carl Frampton on April 3. He dominated Frampton from the start of the bell, eventually stopping the former two-divisional champion in the sixth round. The beating was so bad that Frampton retired shortly afterward.
One thing is for certain, Valdez will be eagerly awaiting the results of Jamel Herring versus Shakur Stevenson. Catch it live on ESPN at the State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia on October 23 to see who walks away as the WBO junior lightweight champion.
By: Garrisson Bland