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Shakur Stevenson says Oscar Valdez will have problems landing shots on April 30th

Valdez vs. Stevenson boxing photo

By Jim Calfa: Shakur Stevenson says Oscar Valdez is going to find it difficult to land any of his power shots on him when they fight at the end of the month on April 30th for their super featherweight unification match on ESPN.

Valdez vs. Stevenson will be taking part in this Top Rank promoted indication fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Stevenson has been pushing for the match for the last two years, and he’s finally got what he’s been asking for.

Now it’s up to Shakur to prove that he made the right decision to demand the fight with the far more experienced and powerful Valdez so early in his career rather than waiting until he’s got more fights under his belt.

WBO 130-lb champion Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) feels his defense is “A-1” right now, and he doesn’t plan on allowing the heavy-handed 31-year-old WBC super featherweight champion Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) to connect with anything significant.

Stevenson: Valdez had his window

I feel like his best chance was to catch me at 126. Now that I’m at 130, I’m bigger, stronger and I’m a lot better than I used to be. He’s in for it come April 30th,” said Shakur Stevenson to Fighthype in giving a warning to Oscar Valdez.

“I watched some of it, and I feel like he’s working hard,” Shakur continued about the 31-year-old Valdez. “He’s doing what he’s supposed to do, I can’t take nothing away from him,” said Shakur.

Valdez vs. Stevenson boxing photo

Stevenson might be overestimating his power, as he doesn’t look like he’s gained any significant strength since moving up to 130 in 2020. For the most part, Stevenson appears to be punching with the same power as when he was competing at 126.

Stevenson would have better pop on his shots, but he frequently leans backward when he throws.  In the back of Stevenson’s mind, he’s always looking for an exit strategy to get out of harm’s way as soon as he fires off a shot, and that takes away a lot of the power that he otherwise would have.

“I know he’s coming in shape ready to fight, and I’ve got to come into the fight and ready to fight too. Yeah, for sure,” said Stevenson when asked if Valdez will have a hard time touching him on April 30th.

“It doesn’t matter who I get in the ring with. My defense is A-1, I practice it every day, and I make sure I don’t take a lot of punches,” Shakur said. “He’s [Valdez] going to have a hard time hitting me come April 30th and so on for everybody.”

Shakur wants to be undisputed

“I see like #5 on the pound-for-pound list. I just fought Jamel [Herring], and I’m right back fighting Oscar Valdez. I’m taking on the tough competition. Oscar is 30-0 with 23 knockouts,” Stevenson said.

“It’s not an easy fight for me, but I’m willing to take the challenge, I love these types of challenges. These challenges wake me up every morning.

Yeah, I want to go for the undisputed, I want to fight for the belts in my next few fights after this fight, but I got to focus on this fight first,” said Shakur. “I’m not looking past Oscar Valdez. I got to get the job done first.

“I think that’s a surprise,” said Stevenson about the perception from boxing fans that he can’t punch and is mostly a defensive fighter. “I’m cool with what they say. I haven’t got no power, however they want to put it.

He’s going to feel it on April 30th how strong I am, and he’s not going to walk through me. I don’t look at myself like certain other fighters,” said Shakur when asked how it’s affected him mentally seeing other guys like Erickson Lubin and Chris Colbert lose.

“I know I’m a special fighter, and I’ve been built to win. I don’t really look at myself and these other fighters.  If they lose, I try to measure myself with them. I know what I come to do, and I come to do the same thing every night and that’s winning,” Stevenson said.

“We’ve got the same team with my coaches, my grandfather, my coach Jack. My coaches and my team are strong. I got the same team, doing the same things we’ve been doing.

“Nah, I feel like everything comes with timing,” said Shakur when asked if it’s harder to get the big fights than it is for him to win them. “We got the Valdez fight. So whatever fight we want will probably happen too,” said Stevenson.

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