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Shakur Stevenson wants Oscar Valdez next after Nakathila

Shakur Stevenson

By Allan Fox: Shakur Stevenson wants to forget about taking on Jamel Herring after he deals with Jeremiah Nakathila this Saturday night and take on WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez instead.

Stevenson’s promoters at Top Rank have other ideas, wanting him to face WBO 130-lb champion Jamel Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) for his title.

That’s why they’ve positioned the #1 WBO Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs) to fight #2 ranked Nakathila (21-1, 17 KOs) for the interim World Boxing Organization 130-lb title.

It’s understandable why Stevenson, 23, wants to take on Oscar Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs) because it’s a bigger money fight for him, and it’ll grab a lot more attention than a match against the 35-year-old Herring.

Stevenson is a big -5000 favorite with BetMGM to defeat the 27-year-old Namibian Nakathila on Saturday, but you never know. Nakathila does have a puncher’s chance of winning, but that’s all.

Shakur Stevenson

Shakur ready to face Valdez next

“It’s a big test for me and a big test for Valdez,” Stevenson told Yahoo Sports. “That’s what makes boxing good. Fights like that will bring boxing back on the map. That’s the fight that needs to happen next.”

For Stevenson to get the fight with Valdez, he will need to convince his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank to let him go straight to that fight rather than Herring.

It’s unlikely Arum will agree to let Stevenson fight Valdez because he would be ruining one of his revenue streams. It’s fair to say that Valdez has a bigger following than Stevenson, and it would be bad for Top Rank if he were to lose.

Likewise, Arum doesn’t want to see the 2016 Olympian Stevenson get beaten because he’s just starting his career. Losing this early to a guy like Valdez would be hard for Stevenson to deal with mentally and possibly physically.

Valdez is coming off a big 10th round knockout of WBC 130-lb champion Miguel Berchelt last February.

Going into that fight, many boxing fans thought Berchelt was going to win, but Valdez had the perfect game plan and dominated him from start to finish.

That could happen to Stevenson because he’s not a big puncher like Berchelt. Although Stevenson makes a lot of grunting noises when he throws punches, there’s no power there.

Stevenson insists on facing the best

It’s definitely a necessity,” Stevenson said about the importance of the elite battling each other. “I think that boxing is going to come back, and it’s going to come back through us younger fighters like me, Teo, Devin, Tank [Davis], Ryan [Garcia].

‘You got Keyshawn Davis on the way. I think all of us are going to bring boxing back,” said Stevenson.

Shakur hasn’t fought anyone of note yet during his four-year professional career. It’s not as if Stevenson has been fighting great opposition already.

Thus far, the only decent fighter Stevenson has faced as a pro is Joet Gonzalez, and he’s nowhere near as good as Oscar Valdez or Herring. Heck, Joet isn’t even on the same level as Nakathila.


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