Shakur Stevenson dominates Oscar Valdez and wins another belt

LAS VEGAS — WBO champion Shakur Stevenson handed Oscar Valdez a first loss of his career in a junior lightweight championship bout on Saturday night.

What some considered fight of the year turned into a one-sided boxing clinic.

Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) won via unanimous decision and took Valdez’s WBC belt with the win.

Stevenson displayed faster hands, exquisite footwork, and better overall boxing skills than Valdez. Stevenson beat his opponent 189-110 and landed 53% of his power punches.

Judge Tim Cheatham had scored the fight 117-110 while Dave Moretti and David Sutherland had 118-109.

“This win means everything,” said Stevenson, who aims to win every 130lb belt and unify the division. “I told you what I’m going to do. I said I’ll beat Valdez, Canelo (Alvarez) and Eddy Reynoso, so that was my game plan. Beat the whole team and I feel good about it. Much respect to them, but that was my game plan.

“I deserve to be a superstar, so I have to do this.”

Stevenson looked like a superstar when he capitalized on Valdez’s big gamble in the sixth round. Valdez misfired with an overhand left, putting him in a vulnerable position. Stevenson quickly countered, dropping Valdez to the temple with a quick left-foot shot and taking control of the fight.

Shakur Stevenson beats Oscar Valdez in his unanimous decision win.

Valdez (30-1) wasn’t the same after this round, seemingly losing the poise he started with. Stevenson, on the other hand, was in control the rest of the way, much to the dismay of the strongly pro-Valdez crowd in a packed MGM Grand Garden with an announced gathering of 10,102.

“He’s got great boxing ability, he was just the better fighter that night,” Valdez said. “He did what he had to do to win the fight. He’s a great fighter. Its speed is there. power is there. He was just the better fighter tonight. Overall a great fighter.”

When ringside reporter Bernardo Osuna asked Stevenson what’s on his plate next, he got on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend, rapper Young Lyric. She said yes.

On the main subcard, it took Nico Ali Walsh (5-0, 4 KOs), the grandson of Muhammad Ali, just 2 minutes and 50 seconds to knock out Alejandro Ibarra (7-2) in a scheduled four-way special middleweight draw.

US Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis (5-0, 4 KOs) dictated the pace in an eight-round lightweight bout against Esteban Sanchez (18-2) to the point of a one-sided boxing clinic. After a relatively rudimentary three rounds in which Sanchez landed his only significant punch of the fight, Davis began a dominating attack in the fourth round.

After enjoying his most dominating round in the fifth round, slamming Sanchez into the ropes early in the round and landing several crushing punches to end it, Davis, landing 57% of his power punches, ended things in the sixth round when the fight was stopped at 2:44.

In another action, Raymond Muratalla (14-0, 12 KOs) knocked out Jeremy Hill at the 2:27 mark of round three in their easy bout.

18-year-old phenom Abdullah Mason improved to 2-0 (2 KOs) with a first-round TKO of Luciano Ramon (1-3) 2:32 into the fight.

Junior lightweight contender Andres Cortes maintained his mark flawlessly, going up to 17-0 (10 KOs) with a sixth-round TKO of Alexis del Bosque (18-6-1).

And US Olympic gold medalist Troy Isley (5-0, 3 KOs) TKOed Anthony Hannah (3-3) at the 2:32 mark of round two. Shakur Stevenson dominates Oscar Valdez and wins another belt


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