By Jim Calfa: Shakur Stevenson sent a message on social media in letting his fans know that the “duck season” is over now that his promoters at Top Rank have set up a unification fight against Oscar Valdez for April 30th.
Until this week, the belief that many boxing fans had about WBC super featherweight champion Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) is that he’s been ducking the talented unbeaten WBO 130-lb champion Shakur Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) like the plague since he first turned pro in 2019. Recently, the avoidance has only gotten WORSE.
For some reason, Valdez finally agreed to take the fight with Shakur for April 30th, and people want to know whether Top Rank boss Bob Arum had to hold Oscar’s feet to the fire to get him to agree to the fight.
Eddy Reynoso not blocking Valdez vs. Shakur
Arum says that Valdez’s trainer Eddy Reynoso is in favor of letting Oscar take the fight with Shakur, 24, but that seems out of character for the careful coach, who also manages/trains Canelo Alvarez.
Reynoso normally doesn’t give the green light to letting his fighters face opposition unless he’s absolutely certain they can win.
The question is, what does Reynoso know that the fans don’t about Shakur Stevenson being suitable prey for Oscar Valdez?
“Duck season is over 😈
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) January 19, 2022
“Shakur Stevenson. He’s going to pick him apart, man,” said trainer Derek Bozy Ennis to YSM Sports Media when asked who wins the Stevenson vs. Oscar Valdez fight on April 30th.
“I know fights when I see fights. Shakur is going to pick him apart. He can box, he’s got good eyesight, he knows how to move, and he got good technique,” said Bozy when asked what makes him pick Stevenson to beat Valdez.
“He’s one of those guys, he’s an all-around fighter now, and he fights a little bit on the inside now too. Shakur can do it all, man. Once he knocks him [Valdez] off and stops him, that’s going to be really something,” said Ennis when asked if Stevenson will be included in the pound-for-pound lists after he defeats Oscar.
Stevenson is wary of Oscar Valdez
“Oh yeah, I’m wary of that,” said Bozy when asked if he’s wary of Oscar Valdez due to him having tested positive for a banned substance in the past. “But you can get over there. If you’re a good fighter, you can get over it.
“You’re still going to win. You just got to know exactly what to do. Those guys with the steroids and stuff, I think they should ban them for life. They should never come back to boxing because they can kill somebody in the ring with that s***.
“No, not back then,” said Bozy Ennis when asked if there was steroid testing back during his day as a fighter in the 70s and 80s. “Nah, we just fought. We didn’t know the f*** what they were on.
“They might have been on some s***, but it wasn’t like it is now, and they’re getting away with it. Oh, they know what they’re taking,” said Bozy when asked if the fighters are intentionally using PEDs or if they’re accidentally using the stuff by taking stuff that contains the banned substances.
“It’s no accident. They know exactly what they’re taking. They can’t get around that s***,” said Ennis.
Hopefully, we don’t see a cancellation of the Valdez vs. Stevenson fight due to any funny stuff going on. Boxing fans want to fight this because the winner will be viewed as the #1 guy at 130.
As far as Shakur goes, he needs to move up to 135 if he successfully defeats Valdez on April 30th because the super featherweight division is a dead-end for him.
The big money fights for Shakur are at lightweight, not super featherweight, and he can’t afford to sit around for years facing lesser opposition like he’s been doing.