By: Hans Themistode
Shakur Stevenson has spewed every vulgar curse word imaginable in the direction of Oscar Valdez. He’s also issued numerous warnings to his upcoming opponent.
Yet, despite Stevenson’s brazen bravado, Valdez has stood stoically in the face of Stevenson, undaunted and unamused by his relentless trash talk. On April 30th, this upcoming weekend, Valdez is eager to put his rivalry with Stevenson to bed. The two will engage in a 130-pound unification that will crown the winner as the Ring Magazine champion as well.
With only a few days remaining, both Stevenson and his team, have upped their aggression. In a recent press conference, Stevenson audaciously grabbed Valdez’s world title. Valdez though, simply smiled as he grabbed at Stevenson’s WBO strap. In addition to the onstage theatrics, team Stevenson was seen verbally chastising team Valdez.
Throughout it all, Valdez never seemed flustered by the entire ordeal. Simply put, Valdez is unwilling to allow Stevenson to knock him off his A game.
“My fuel tank is full,” said Stevenson to FightHype.com. “There’s nothing right now that he can say or do that will make me lose focus. My main focus is just to win the fight. It doesn’t matter if it’s by knockout, by 12 rounds, if it’s a dirty fight, if it’s a technical fight. To me, it’s just win the fight no matter what.”
Stevenson, 24, has fought and clawed his way to his current position. Following a successful world title run at 126 pounds, the former Olympic silver medalist truncated his time as a featherweight world champion and planted his flag at 130 pounds. So far, everything has gone swimmingly.
With three consecutive victories in his new weight class, Stevenson challenged then, WBO world titlist, Jamel Herring. While Herring was thought to be Stevenson’s sternest test, the 24-year-old went on to dominate his man, resulting in a 10th-round stoppage victory.
Throughout his relatively short career, Stevenson has been viewed as boxing’s next premier star. And, in the mind of oddsmakers, Valdez’s unified dreams will be dashed away from him come Saturday night.
Regardless of the outside belief of the betting market and despite the consistent praise that’s been heaped onto the shoulders of Stevenson, Valdez has issued one final warning to both his upcoming opponent and his undying supporters.
“If I have to take one shot to land my shot, I’ll do it, I’ve done it before. Shakur Stevenson is a tough fighter but he’s not invincible, no fighter out there is not invincible, including myself, including the best fighters in history. Every fighter is beatable.”