Shakur Stevenson dominates Oscar Valdez to win second title by way of unanimous determination

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LAS VEGAS — Shakur Stevenson jogged across the ring together with his arms held excessive because the seconds ticked away on the most important night time of his profession.

For 12 rounds, he virtually performed with Oscar Valdez in what turned out to be an utter mismatch within the ESPN fundamental occasion Saturday earlier than 10,102 at MGM Grand Backyard Area. Stevenson is just that good.

He used a superb southpaw jab — probably the greatest weapons in boxing — to maintain Valdez at vary and arrange his personal highly effective left hand to the physique. The unanimous-decision victory — scores of 117-110, 118-109, 118-109 — handed Stevenson a second title at 130 kilos.

“I am a famous person on this sport,” the 24-year-old Stevenson stated. ” … Line ’em up. I am prepared for whoever.”

Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) delivered a career-best efficiency in his earlier outing, a Tenth-round stoppage of Jamel Herring in his first bout in opposition to a reigning titleholder. The Newark, New Jersey-born Stevenson had been criticized for his risk-averse model however in opposition to Herring, he confirmed a extra aggressive facet.

“He was only a higher fighter tonight,” Valdez stated. ” … We’ll see what we’ve got to do to enhance. I do not suppose that is the top.”

Valdez, 31, entered the most important battle of his profession following a maelstrom of controversy. The 2-time Olympian from Mexico examined optimistic for the banned substance phentermine but was allowed to proceed with a title protection vs. Robson Conceicao in September.

Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) struggled throughout the first half of that bout, however rallied for the shut determination victory. The bout was Valdez’s first title protection after he captured the belt from Miguel Berchelt final February in considered one of 2021’s greatest knockouts.

Valdez had been ranked No. 1 by ESPN at 130 kilos however was faraway from the rankings after the hostile discovering.

“I am not a cheater. By no means have been. By no means wanted it,” Valdez informed ESPN’s Mark Kriegel in September. ” … Lots of people saying, ‘You are a cheater. You are utilizing steroids. You got here again optimistic.’ It is simply, it is heartbreaking for me.”

The previous featherweight champion, regarded for his fan-friendly model, blamed the optimistic outcome on natural tea.

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