Shakur Stevenson wants Oscar Valdez next after Herring fight on Oct.23rd
By Dan Ambrose: Shakur Stevenson says he wants to fight WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez after he dethrones WBO champion Jamel Herring in their main event fight on October 23rd at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
WBO mandatory Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs) says he wants to unify the 130-lb division if possible, and he feels that Valdez is someone that he can definitely beat.
Valdez did his part last Friday to put himself in the position to fight the winner of the Herring vs. Stevenson fight by defeating Robson Conceicao.
Now all Oscar needs to do is sit back and wait for the smoke to clear from the Herring-Stevenson match and hope it doesn’t result in a draw.
Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) didn’t exactly impress with his controversial 12 round unanimous decision victory over three-time Olympian Conceicao (16-1, 8 KOs) at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona. He got the victory, and that’s all that counts in the big scheme of things.
Shakur wants Oscar Valdez next
“I’ve been waiting to talk to him for a minute,” said Shakur Stevenson to ESNEWS when asked what he said to Herring during his face-off with him during Thursday’s press conference.
“The press conference is the press conference, and I’m not going to say too much. I just wanted to look him [Herring] in the eye and let him know what it was. That way, he knows that I’m not scared.
“I’m not going to say anything on social media, and I’m not going to say it anywhere else. I’m going to say it right to you. He’s going to have to back up what he says, and I’m going to have to back up what I say. On October 23rd, I’m going to be the world champion again.
“I think that’s BS. I think I was real vocal at getting [Oscar] Valdez in the ring,” said Shakur when asked why he’s targeting WBO super featherweight champion Herring for his title rather than taking on WBC 130-lb champion Valdez.
“I think they’re messing up a certain way with. It was Herring over Valdez, and I don’t duck no action. We ended up here, and we’re here now. Ain’t no if,” said Shakur when asked ‘IF you come out victorious on October 23rd.’
“Most definitely,” said Stevenson on whether he wants to fight Oscar Valdez next. “I’m here for the big fight, I want to make the biggest fights, and I want to clear out the division after I do this,” said Shakur.
As long as Shakur beats Herring on October 23rd, he’s got an excellent chance of fighting Valdez in his next fight after, but he’s got to beat him first.
Ideally, Stevenson needs to win and look good because he can’t continue to fight the way he does. After all, this is pro ranks, and his amateur-style fighting will not work when he faces punchers like Valdez.
It might be good for boxing if Valdez does beat Stevenson because it would save the fans from watching a boring fighter hold belts at 130.
Say what you want about Valdez testing positive and being given a gift decision against Robson Conceicao last Friday. He at least is interesting to watch.
Valdez doesn’t run from his opponents the way Stevenson does, and that’s why he’s important for Top Rank because he brings in the viewers.
Valdez cheated, says Stevenson
“I’m not going to lie to you. Valdez isn’t in my eyes right now. I’m not focused on Valdez. Right now, it’s Jamel Herring, and that’s all I see, and that’s all I want to see. I want that belt.
“It’s cheating,” said Stevenson when asked his thoughts on Oscar Valdez testing positive for the banned substance phentermine. “Cheating is cheating. I don’t care how you put it, what you didn’t do or what you did. What he [Valdez] did do is he cheating.
“So I feel like he should have been punished in some type of way, not a slap on the wrist. I feel like they gave him a slap on the wrist,” said Shakur about the WBC putting Valdez on a one-year probation for his positive test rather than stripping him of his 130-lb title,” said Stevenson.
Valdez wasn’t disciplined for testing positive for the banned substance phentermine, but he did pay a heavy price in terms of his popularity.
Not only has Valdez’s reputation take a massive hit, but also the World Boxing Council for not stripping him of his WBC super featherweight title. There were some real casualties.
Besides Valdez and the WBC, trainer Eddy Reynoso is viewed negatively by many boxing fans in the aftermath, as it’s his gym where Oscar trains. Also, this isn’t the first fighter from Reynoso’s stable that has tested positive for banned substances in the last three years.
Eventually, fans will forget about Valdez’s positive test for phentermine, as long as he doesn’t continue to fail drug tests in the future.
Most of the fans will either forget, or the new fans will be oblivious to it. However, if Valdez continues to perform like he did last Friday night in his controversial 12 round unanimous decision win over Robson Conceicao, it may not matter what anyone thinks of him.
His career may be heading downhill with him getting exposed and eventually beaten repeatedly. Valdez got lucky with the scoring for his fight with Conceicao, as he appeared to lose that fight in the eyes of the boxing public.
But that luck can’t continue forever, as his next fight will be against the Jamel Herring vs. Shakur Stevenson fight winner. Those guys are popular enough to where the judges won’t give them the business in a fight with Valdez.
More than that. If Valdez looks the same way he did against Conceicao against one of those two, he’ll get knocked out, leaving the judges helpless to pick a winner.
Shakur expects to shine against Herring
“Most definitely, but they fight at 135,” said Shakur about him fighting lightweights Devin Haney, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, and Ryan Garcia. “Right now, my focus is on Jamel Herring.
“I don’t know nothing about Tank, Devin, or Ryan. That’s all in the future. That’s later on down the line. Right now, we’re focused on Jamel. Jamel has got something I want, and I want to take that from him,’ said Shakur.
It’s too bad Stevenson isn’t interested in fighting Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, or Ryan Garcia right now because he would gain far more notoriety fighting any of those three than he will by taking on Jamel Herring on October 23rd.
The way that Stevenson is so fast to dismiss the possibility of fighting any of those above-mentioned lightweights suggests that he doesn’t feel like he’s up for the job yet, which is too bad
. If Stevenson wastes time at 130, he could miss out on his chance to fight them before they move up to 140.
“I think you should expect the best performance of my career. I think I’m going to put on a show,” said Stevenson on what to expect from him on October 23rd against Herring.
“Atlanta is going to hype me up. Being in the ring with a solid fighter like Jamel is going to hype me up. You should expect fireworks,” said Stevenson.
If Shakur is going to shine and not stink out the joint at the State Farm Arena on October 23rd, he’s going to have to bring some courage with him on the night.
Stevenson, 24, can’t be backing away each time Herring comes forward looking to exchange.
The timid fighting style that Shakur employs is the sole reason why he was heavily booed the last time he fought against Jeremia Nakathilia last June in Las Vegas.
Fans wanted to see a fight, but instead, Stevenson was hitting and running for 12 rounds, and it was boring to watch.
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- Shakur Stevenson vs Conceição Sept. 23 at Prudential Center LIVE on ESPN
- Bob Arum says Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Shakur is possible for 2023
- Shakur Stevenson targeting Ryan Garcia, says fight makes him a PPV star