It's a movement
After signing their respective contracts earlier this week, super featherweight champions Oscar Valdez and Shakur Stevenson are officially set to unify on April 30th at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand.
This is a fight that’s been brewing for several years. Back when both men competed at featherweight, Stevenson (17-0, 9 KO) became Valdez’s (30-0, 23 KO) mandatory challenger with a series of solid wins, only for Valdez to move up to 130. Rather than immediately challenge Jamel Herring for the WBO title at 130, as was his right as a rising champion, Valdez got acclimated with a pair of fights before stunning Miguel Berchelt for the WBC belt.
He was last seen narrowly edging out Robson Conceicao after testing positive for a banned substance beforehand.
This left Stevenson to cruise past Joet Gonzalez for the now-vacant 126-pound belt, then immediately follow Valdez up to 130. He took his own pair of prep fights before dominating Jeremiah Nakathila for the interim belt while Herring settled his business with Carl Frampton, then demolished “Semper Fi” four months later.
Bob Arum had floated the idea of letting this simmer even longer by pitting Valdez against Emanuel Navarette and Stevenson against Berchelt, but thankfully that didn’t come to pass. The best 130-pounder in the world will be crowned in just over two months.
“I want to make it clear that I am the best 130-pound fighter in the world,” Valdez said. “We know Shakur Stevenson is very good at fighting, but he’s even better at social media. I’ll let my fists speak for themselves.”
Stevenson said, “I have been chasing this fight for nearly three years since we were both at featherweight. On April 30, I’m going to show him and the world why he ducked me all this time. I’m the best young fighter in the world, and I will become unified champion.”