WBO & WBC super-featherweight unification: Shakur Stevenson VS Oscar Valdez
Saturday, April 30 – MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
The MGM Grand Arena gives every bout that takes place in the building a big fight feel. That is what we have on tap this Saturday in Las Vegas as Shakur Stevenson clashes with Oscar Valez in a bout that will unify the WCO and WBC super-featherweight straps.
This should be a good fight between two boxers undefeated in the professional ranks. Stevenson (17-0) has won nine of his 17 fights by knockout and is the heavy favorite here at 1/7 with BetXchange. The New Jersey native sees this fight as a possible springboard to becoming a legitimate main event PPV draw in the near future.
To get there, the 24-year-old American will have to overcome a tricky opponent in Oscar Valdez. Valdez (30-0) is seven years Stevenson’s senior and he has won 23 of his 30 fights by knockout. His 77% knockout percentage is significantly higher than the 53% of fights that Stevenson has stopped his opponent before it goes the distance.
Stevenson is a boxer with a very diverse skill set. He is able to match other fighters punch for punch, but he is also very adept at outthinking, outworking, and out moving his opponents. This was all on display last time out when he stopped Jamel Herring in the 10th round of a dominant performance.
That won’t phase Valdez.
The Mexican faced tough odds in his title fight against compatriot Miguel Berchelt back in February 2021. Berchelt was installed as a 4/1 favorite and was expected to dominate the fight. Instead, Valdez flipped the script, outpunching Berchelt as a heavy underdog on his way to a nasty knockout in round 10.
Valdez is a stablemate of the legendary Canelo Alvarez, a boxer that feels strongly that Valdez is being undervalued here. Valdez is giving up three inches in height and the reach will also be in Stevenson’s favor, but if the American is overlooking this one a shock could be on the cards. I don’t think he will be, but Stevenson must avoid the obvious punching power of Valdez to continue his upward trajectory as a fighter.
The undercard here has a wealth of interest with some potential superstars in the spotlight. Not least of these is 23-year-old lightweight Keyshawn Davis, the Olympic silver medal winner out of Norfolk, Virginia. Davi will fight Mexican veteran Esteban Sanchez in a typical showcase fight. Davis (4-0) has three knockouts in his four fights, showing unexpected punching power in the division. Sanchez (18-1) has won two straight after his sole career loss, but this is all about Davis and he will win here.
Boxing royalty will also be on show as Nico Ali Walsh – grandson of the legendary Muhammad Ali – takes on Alejandro Ibarra. There is no reason that Ali Walsh (4-0) who only turned pro in August should lose here against Ibarra in a four-round middleweight bout. It will all be about Ali Walsh fighting on the biggest stage yet in his young and promising career.