Shakur Stevenson vs Oscar Valdez Preview April 30th, 2022
WBO Jr. Lightweight Champion Shakur Stevenson of Newark, New Jersey will be taking on WBC Jr. Lightweight boss Oscar Valdez of Mexico this Saturday, April 30th. The 12-round unification bout between the two unbeaten champions will be broadcast live from Las Vegas on ESPN and ESPN+ while fans in Canada can catch the action on TSN 2 and those in the UK can view it on Sky Sports Arena. Stevenson won the belt his last time out by stopping Jamel Herring in the 10th round in October while Valdez last fought in September when he beat Robson Conceicao via a controversial unanimous decision. Both boxers are also former WBO World Featherweight Champions.
Stevenson vs Valdez Betting Odds
- Oscar Valdez +450
- Shakur Stevenson -700
The 24-year-old Stevenson is a southpaw who enters the contest a perfect mark of 17-0 with 9 Ko’s. He had an excellent amateur career as he won a USA Junior National Championship and World Junior Championship in 2013. The next year he captured the USA Youth National, Youth Olympic Games and World Youth Championships. He won the USA Youth National Title in 2015 as well as the Olympic trials and qualifiers.
He then fought at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and won the silver medal as a bantamweight. Since turning pro in 2017 he’s boxed 103 rounds and has also captured the IBF Inter-Continental, WBC Continental Americas, and WBO NABO Featherweight Titles. Stevenson stands 5-feet-7-inches tall and has a 68-inch reach.
He’s certainly not not known as a KO artist by any means though as he possesses average power with a current knockout ratio of 52.9 per cent. He displays fine boxing skills and speed and has plenty of long-term championship potential in multiple weight classes. Along with beating Herring, Joet Gonzalez and Alberto Guevara, Stevenson’s also beaten the likes of Jeremia Nakathila, Christopher Diaz, Jesse Cris Rosales and Juan Tapia.
The 31-year-old Valdez also owns a perfect record as he’s 30-0 with 23 Kos. He obviously has better-than-average power with a current knockout ratio of 76.7 per cent, but he’s gone the distance in five of his last nine bouts. He stands just over 5-feet-5-inches tall with a 66-inch reach which means he fives up 1.5-inches in height and two-inches in reach to Stevenson. Valdez has 180 rounds of experience under his belt since turning pro in 2012 and also had a stellar amateur career.
He’s the only two-time boxing Olympian from Mexico, but he failed to win a medal at the 2008 and 2012 Games in Beijing and London. He did win a dozen medals in other international competitions though and had more than 200 amateur bouts. One of these included a loss to Vasyl Lomachenko and he was also beaten by Robson Conceicao in the gold medal match at the Pan American Games over 12 years ago.
Valdez hadn’t exactly been fighting a steady diet of Grade A boxers until stopping Miguel Berchelt in the 10th round in February, 2021 to win his current title as he has wins over Scott Quigg, Jason Sanchez, Miguel Marriaga, Hiroshige Osawa, Evgeny Gradovich, Chris Avalos, Jose Ramirez, Alberto Garza and Ruben Tamayo but he was almost perfect when taking the crown from Berchelt. He’s also captured the WBO NABO Featherweight, NABF Junior Featherweight, and NABF Junior Super Featherweight Titles as a pro.
Stevenson’s attitude is usually to not get hit and use his premier boxing skills and footwork to outbox his opponents but he showed a bit more aggression against Jamel Herring the last time out. He’s quite good defensively but unless you’re a purist you may find his fights somewhat on the dull side since he’s rarely pushed to the limit. That should change Saturday night though as the aggressive and hard-hitting Valdez should force him to fight and test his chin. However, I’m also expecting the younger Stevenson to utilize his superior skills to come way with another victory in an intriguing battle.
Play Stevenson -700@ BetOnline.ag
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