By Jim Calfa: Oscar Valdez says he’s confident of defeating the “beatable” Shakur Stevenson on Saturday night on ESPN in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is obviously hoping the Valdez vs. Stevenson bout is entertaining rather than a dull affair.
It’s in Stevenson’s best interest to resist the urge to fight all night defensively because he must look good in this fight for him to make the jump to PPV attraction. Boxing fans won’t want to pay to watch a boring knockoff version of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Stevenson proved in his last fight against Jamel Herring that he can be an exciting fighter when he wants to.
Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) has had the perfect sparring to prepare him for Stevenson’s tall, slick southpaw style (17-0, 9 KOs), and he can’t wait to get the fight underway.
The 31-year-old WBC super featherweight champion Valdez knows what he’s up against in fighting the defensive artist Shakur, and he’s going to be looking to pressure him.
Although Valdez stated this week that he plans on boxing Stevenson, few believe that he’ll take that approach to try to win the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The two fighters that had the best success against Stevenson were Robeisy Ramirez and Jeremia Nakathila. They both used pressure to give Stevenson headaches.
Robeisy beat Shakur with combination punching on the inside in the 2016 Olympics, dealing with his constant clinching, which was the only thing he could do to try and negate the Cuban’s superior inside game.
“It’s been very calm, the calm before the storm,” said Oscar Valdez to Fight Hub TV on his readiness for his unification fight against Shakur Stevenson on Saturday. “I’m very relaxed and concentrated.
“The work has already been done in the gym. I’ve had great sparring sessions, obviously, I’ve got a great trainer [Eddy Reynoso], and I’ve got great people in the gym. We all feed on each other and have the same goal of becoming the best in boxing.
“I’m very focused and very excited about April 30th to step in the ring and give my best because there are two belts on the line. I can’t wait to take them back home with me.
“It’s motivation. This is something I’ll look back on 10 or 20 years from now and say, ‘I remember that day.’ I’m enjoying the ride, enjoying the moment, and I just can’t wait. There’s no pressure at all because we did our work inside the gym.
“We plan on executing on April 30th. He has an awkward style and obviously a southpaw and tall fighter. We have perfect sparring for that. The first sparring session was a little complicated, but after that, we figured him out.
“Every fighter out there is beatable,” said Valdez. “No fighter out there was invincible were unbeatable, including the legends.
“He’s beatable, nothing is impossible, and we’re going to give it our best to come out victorious that night,” said Valdez.