Shakur dominates Valdez, unifies 130lb titles

Oscar Valdez V Shakur Stevenson
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

By Miguel Maravilla at ringside

In a grudge super featherweight unification clash, WBO champion Shakur Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) scored a one-sided twelve round unanimous decision over WBC champion Oscar Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Valdez had no answer for Stevenson’s skills and movement. Stevenson scored a flash knockdown in round six. Valdez had some success with straight right hands, but not enough to win many rounds. Scores were 117-110, 118-109, 118-109.

Valdez feinted and unloaded a body shot as Stevenson countered with a big right to begin the fight. Stevenson popped the jab and was active in the opening round as Valdez mostly feinted and worked his way inside staying close. The hand speed was evident for Stevenson in round two as Valdez was on the receiving end of Shakur’s combinations, shortly after Valdez pressured and connected with solid body shots. Valdez kept up with Shakur in the third round, backing Stevenson timing with the straight right and connecting to the body as Valdez was on the hunt lurking. In the fourth round, Valdez cornered Stevenson momentarily, but Shakur kept the fast pace letting his hands go, Shakur complained to referee Kenny Bayless about Valdez holding on the clinch.

Oscar Valdez V Shakur Stevenson
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

The pressure continued from Valdez as he kept connecting with the right hand and roughing up Stevenson to the corner, but Shakur’s hands were too fast as he continued to paint and tally up points with combinations. At the halfway point in the sixth, Valdez rushed out of the corner as Stevenson countered scoring the first knockdown of the fight. Staying close in the seventh, Valdez kept the pressure and backed Stevenson to the ropes timing with the right hand. Valdez continued to stay close shooting the right, but Shakur’s hand speed was too much.

Oscar Valdez V Shakur Stevenson
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

Attacking the body to start the ninth, Valdez stayed close as Stevenson boxed away. Coming out aggressive in round ten, Valdez sensed the urgency, letting his hands go to start the round as the right was consistent for Valdez. Chasing late in the fight, time was running out for Valdez as Stevenson kept boxing, later in the round referee Kenny Bayless warned Stevenson for stiff arming with the right. The twelfth and final round, Valdez went straight at the flashy and elusive Stevenson as Shakur kept his distance, Valdez fought on while Shakur was conservative watching the clock and running away with the victory.

Official attendance was 10,102.

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    • That’s what great fighters do. They make the fight less competitive as they dominate their opponents.

  • I can’t wait to hear the excuses after this one.

    Shakur made it look easy. he also showed that he has a chin. Valdez couldn’t hurt him.

    “but ShAkur iS boRiNG derp derp derp”

    Shakur stood in front of Valdez and beat him in every way imaginable.

    And made it look pretty easy. Based on this fight alone, a lot of us know what’s ahead for Shakur when it comes to these “critics”. Nothing this man does will ever be good enough because he’s making it look too easy. Beat the “guy” that the “critics” say you’re “afraid of” just for those same “critics” to make excuses as to why their pick lost. We’ve seen this story before.

      • When you see a boring fight, you’re seeing a vastly superior BOXER against someone who can’t match up. The same thing was said every single time at Mayweather, but the opponent could match up, like Maidana, Cotto or Castillo did, then they weren’t that boring.

    • Perfect Summary!!! Thats right, he will never be good enough and deserve fights against protected opponents. But you cant deny that blinding talent he has. Right now he’s unbeatable.

  • I told everybody yesterday, Valdez hes a tough mexican warrior but Shakur hes too fast exellent jab always keep Valdez in the distance.Easy work UD.

    • That tough Mexican warrior crap is getting kind of tired. It is like saying black boxers aren’t tough.

  • And the young kid keeps smiling…unified champion & gets better every fight as if he sees things before the happen throughout his fight

  • Well I’m gona congratulate shskur he won clearly but I just have two complaints:
    1 he is too big for valdes he had at least 15 lbs advantage

    2 i don’t think this victory put him in the 10 pounders of the world

    Very agly style but effective though

    He should fight at 135 or 140 lbs

    • Stop it!!! Shakir made the weight. #2 doesnt make any more sense than the 1st complaint.

    • Here we go again, another excuse to
      disguise your dislike of a talented fighter. He
      is too big. Both men made the 130lbs weight
      limit, if he can make the 130lbs he should
      try to unify the belts. Why move up to 135lbs

  • Brilliant performance from Shakur, shadowed by his illegal action to be holding Valdez with his hand despite being warned by the referee several times and also his lacks of respect toward his opponent and the public that paid to see a fight not a guy running and clowning the last 20 seconds of the fight.
    Shakur proved tonight to be an excellent fighter, but needs to be more serious and decent when fighting if he wants to reach the great level

    • So that last 20 seconds made your opinion? He beat him up for 12 rounds why not just congratulate the young man!!! He’s clearly serious if you viewed the fight, Valdez landed nothing significant all night despite the crowds roar when he threw punches.

  • No surprise here, both good champions but Shakur the most talented, no surprise here, what’s next?

  • Valdez put in a valiant effort while upholding the Mexican and Mexican-American tradition of boxing machismo, pressure and solid work. However, Valdez encountered a young cat Stevenson who is complicated, while following the traditions of measured “hit/not get hit.” I was very surprised/impressed to see how Valdez doubled-tripled those short right hands, but Stevenson made adjustments to minimize the impact of those short right hands – I do not believe Stevenson and his camp expected that type of punch sequence from Valdez. During the early stages, Valdez displayed nice head movements to apply pressure, but he was unable to make any solid connections on Stevenson.

    Further, Stevenson’s straight left to Valdez’s body was even making my stomach hurt. There were calculated times in which Stevenson went on the inside to display his inside fighting, to catch Valdez not protecting himself at all times; and to show his underestimated physical strength. However, I was not a big fan of Stevenson pawing that right jab because he should have kept snapping off that jab. In addition, I was not a big fan of Stevenson taking off during the 12th round because I believe Stevenson could have stopped Valdez (TKO) by shooting those straight lefts to Valdez’s stomach, combined with a few right hooks.

    Other than the 12th round, I really did not see Stevenson do any running in this fight. Stevenson knew when to get in the pocket; he knew when to slightly step out of range; and he knew when to provide a lateral movement for setting up his offense and to offset Valdez’s attempted aggression (bull vs. matador). Valiant effort by Valdez, but Stevenson was scoring while maintaining a tradition of offensive/defensive rhythm, creativity and being a “thinking man’s fighter.” Of course, there are going to be fights in which the “go to war” types will win.

    Thank goodness we have a variety of boxing styles to keep boxing ticking in the hearts of fans.

    • What I found interesting with the fight was how Valdez didn’t seem to have prepared to fight a southpaw. The key to beating a southpaw is right hand leads. If he came out right away popping the right hand and not trying to feint his way in with his ear muffs on, he may have had better luck. When he did lead with the right it stopped Shakur in his tracks. I think he had the wrong game plan. Of course, he may not have won anyway because Shakur was quicker and bigger but he may have been more effective. Just my two cents.

      • Valdez was successful with the lead right in the 3rd round but it wasn’t that Valdez stopped trying it. Shakur made the adjustment and pretty much took it away with his footwork and defense and Oscar simply couldn’t find anything else the rest of the way it definitely wasn’t from a lack of trying he was just outmatched.

  • Oh dear look at all the angry mexicans down-thumbing pro shakur comments. I expect some racist remarks directed towards blacks within the next 24 hours. Don’t be a sore loser, your man got beat fair and square & exposed. Water is wet.

  • Round after monotonous round, Stevenson did the same thing, over and over again. Valdez is no great shakes himself. Most boring “high level” fight of 2022 so far!

    • Agree. It was very anti climatic after watching Taylor V Serrano.

  • Stevenson beat Valdez rather handily. I would have liked to see him step up the combinations and try to take Valdez out. He never did but was content to outbox him and win the decision.

    He really needs to stop placing his jabbing hand out and holding the opponent’s head. The referee would have been justified in taking points away for that but he never did go beyond a stern warning.

    I believed before the fight that Stevenson would win easily but he did take more shots in this fight than in his earlier matches. Valdez gave a game effort but he just couldn’t reach Stevenson consistently. Shakur’s body now looks mature and he appeared much bigger than Valdez. I see him moving up in weight sooner rather than later.

  • Shakur’s smile and Oscar’s doubtful and clenched face said it all between the 11th and 12th rounds.

    I think Oscar was exposed and schooled. Early on Oscar looked mentally defeated and Shakur made Oscar look boring.

    I am looking forward to see Shakur again.

    Good win! Congratulations!

  • The art of boxing is to hit and not get hit. The art of tough man contests is to test who can give and take.

    Although not fan friendly, Shakur did exactly what he needed to do, which was to outbox Valdez.

    Valdez used the wrong gameplay. Sheilding up without creating openings or giving Stevenson a reason to doubt, made Oscar’s night much harder than it had to be.

    • Stevenson don’t just outbox Valdez he walked him down most of the fight as well.

  • Where you at , Carlos!? Awfully quiet..,all that running and no heart Shakur showed, was a disgrace to boxing…lmao. When people say Shakur was boring last night, it is just a reflection of who they are as a man; which is usually a negative spirit and irrelevant in life. These are the types that are in management and get together and harass a high performer in the workplace, because they are jealous, but publicly state its hard to find good people for the job. Oscar was made to look very ordinary; stick to fighting the Berchelt’s of the world Oscar; then you’ll look like a modern day Chavez. Shakur vs. Loma, next; once that ordeal in Eastern Europe subsides soon.

  • Huge Oscar fan but as I said; Only thing beating SS is Father Time.

  • I was disappointed with Oscar’s strategy of standing in front of Shakur. I think he would have had much greater success slipping to Shakur’s sides and giving him angles.

  • I’m always amazed at the sheer number of people who come with the “but he’s boring” comments. The guy’s job is to win fights, not make Joe Blow with his beer guy and pack of Marlboro’s happy at home in his couch. I much prefer exciting fighters and exciting fights, but how exactly can anyone justify slamming a fighter who does his job EXACTLY how it should be done?

  • Shakur will defeat all of today’s 130 & 135 fighters. He will probably go as high as 147 to compete because of his frame.

  • valdez needs a jab maybe new trainers shakur is a defensive fighter is not going to knock out people dnot like the valdez strategy

  • Strange how there are only 31 comments because there are usually far more comments after a major fight between two (2) outstanding athletes…I am not sure why?

    Now, I have to wonder what would have been the total comments if Stevenson lost or won by a controversial decision?

  • It was a very solid performance by shakur and he showed fantastic reflexes again. He’s got to be taking off some serious weight as we all noticed he was much bigger than Valdez. I just don’t understand the strategy that Oscar seemingly couldn’t stray from. He got picked apart with his guard high and being in front of SS for most of the rounds. Perhaps SS has stronger punches than it seems. Good job for him either way

  • Referee did a lousy job. Stevenson got away with several low blows. Allowed to ho;d his left hand out the whole night. Used it to parry and throw Valdez off balance. All that said Stevenson looked to be a weight division bigger strength wise. I think he could easily fight at lightweight and will need to if he wants to see how good he really is.

  • I haven’t been paying attention to Shakur before now. He’s only had 18 fights. But I will going forward. The man is a talented fighter. He deserves to be respected. He’s a champion and just convincingly beat one.

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