Shakur Stevenson dominates Oscar Valdez to win second title through unanimous choice

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LAS VEGAS — Shakur Stevenson jogged across the ring together with his palms held excessive because the seconds ticked away on the most important night time of his profession.

For 12 rounds, he virtually performed with Oscar Valdez in what turned out to be an utter mismatch within the ESPN foremost occasion Saturday earlier than 10,102 at MGM Grand Backyard Area. Stevenson is solely that good.

He used a superb southpaw jab — among the best weapons in boxing — to maintain Valdez at vary and arrange his personal highly effective left hand to the physique. The unanimous-decision victory — scores of 117-110, 118-109, 118-109 — handed Stevenson a second title at 130 kilos.

“I am a famous person on this sport,” the 24-year-old Stevenson mentioned. ” … Line ’em up. I am prepared for whoever.”

Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) delivered a career-best efficiency in his earlier outing, a Tenth-round stoppage of Jamel Herring in his first bout towards a reigning titleholder. The Newark, New Jersey-born Stevenson had been criticized for his risk-averse type however towards Herring, he confirmed a extra aggressive facet.

“He was only a higher fighter tonight,” Valdez mentioned. ” … We’ll see what now we have to do to enhance. I do not assume that is the top.”

Valdez, 31, entered the most important battle of his profession following a maelstrom of controversy. The 2-time Olympian from Mexico examined optimistic for the banned substance phentermine but was allowed to proceed with a title protection vs. Robson Conceicao in September.

Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) struggled through the first half of that bout, however rallied for the shut choice victory. The bout was Valdez’s first title protection after he captured the belt from Miguel Berchelt final February in certainly one of 2021’s finest knockouts.

Valdez had been ranked No. 1 by ESPN at 130 kilos however was faraway from the rankings after the hostile discovering.

“I am not a cheater. By no means have been. By no means wanted it,” Valdez informed ESPN’s Mark Kriegel in September. ” … Lots of people saying, ‘You are a cheater. You are utilizing steroids. You got here again optimistic.’ It is simply, it is heartbreaking for me.”

The previous featherweight champion, regarded for his fan-friendly type, blamed the optimistic end result on natural tea.

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