Shakur Stevenson says he’s signed contract for Oscar Valdez fight on April 30th

By Dan Ambrose: WBO super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson says he’s signed his contract to face WBC champion Oscar Valdez in a unification fight on April 30th. AccordingtoValdez’smanager, he had already signed the agreement for the contest.

With both champions now having signed their contracts, we should have an announcement soon by their promoters at Top Rank.

The former two-division world champion Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) will have his WBC 130-lb belt up for grabs when he faces WBO champion Stevenson.

Valdez is coming into the fight under a dark cloud from his controversial 12 round decision win over 2016 Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceição on September 10, 2021, at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona. The judges had it 115-112, 115-112, and 117-110.

Many boxing fans felt that Conceicao had done enough to deserve the victory and didn’t sit well with them to see Valdez getting his hand raised.

The judge that scored it wide for Valdez at 117-110 seemed to be watching a different fight than the ones that a lot of people had. Ideally, it would have been a nice gesture on Valdez’s part to give Conceicao a rematch to clear up the debate, but it’s happening.

Besides the controversy surrounding the decision for Valdez, he had previously tested positive for the banned Phentermine. Both the A and B samples came up positive for the substance.

However, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Athletic Commission went by the WADA guidelines. Their guidelines prohibit phentermine during competition, and Valdez’s positive test had come from August 31st.

Hopefully, Shakur fights in a little more entertaining style than what we’ve seen from him since he turned professional. He tends to fight in a safety-first manner with his pull-back style, similar to Guillermo Rigondeaux.

While the style is highly effective, it’s pretty dull to watch for many boxing fans. Stevenson is a good talker outside of the ring, but his style is too defensive at times with the way he pulls back to avoid getting hit.

Also, Stevenson uses a pot-shot style reminiscent of Floyd Mayweather Jr. after he moved up to 147. Again, it’s an effective style but a little hard on the eyes unless you’ve had a good cup of coffee.

Stevenson, 24, has been the one hounding to get the fight with Valdez made since the two were fighting at 126. It might be a little early for this fight to be made, as it needs another year or two of marinating to be a real big money maker

In the case of Stevenson, he’s huge for the weight class, and he likely won’t be able to make the 130-lb limit by next year in 2023. The fight makes sense for Stevenson but not as much for Valdez.

This is likely as high as the two-time Olympian Valdez goes in weight. He’s not expected to move up to 135 in the future because he would be significantly undersized against Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, and George Kambosos.

The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Stevenson dethroned WBO champion Jamel Herring last October, stopping him in the tenth round in a fight that resembled a slaughter from start to finish.

The win for Shakur made him a two-division world champion, as in 2019, he’d won the vacant WBO 126-lb belt.

The super featherweight is a dead one in terms of famous fighters. Other than Stevenson and Valdez, there’s not much else in the weight class for these guys.

Valdez, 30, doesn’t have much choice but to stay at 130, but Stevenson will be hampering his career if he chooses to remain in the weight class after the fight.

Stevenson says he wants to become the undisputed champion at super featherweight. If he does that, it’s likely going to take him another year, possibly two, for him to round up the IBF and WBA titles, and it might not be worth it in terms of the names that he’ll beat to win those titles.

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