Report- Shakur Stevenson-Oscar Valdez To Fight April 30th
A highly anticipated battle between two unbeaten, two-division world champions appears to be on for the end of April in Las Vegas. This, as a report says that WBC Jr. Lightweight champ Oscar Valdez will meet WBO World Title holder, Shakur Stevenson in what appears to be one of the top smaller weight battles for the first half of 2022.
Boxing insider Dan Rafael wrote for World Boxing News Sunday afternoon that Top Rank Boxing promoter Bob Arum has confirmed that Valdez-Stevenson is on deck and that the Nevada Athletic Commission has a hold for the date of Saturday night April 30th,
— World Boxing News (@WorldBoxingNews) January 16, 2022
From Rafael’s item,
“Shakur, I think the fight for him is against Valdez and that would be a corker and I’d love to get that fight done,” Arum told World Boxing News. “That’s what we’re looking to do, yeah. I think before the end of April.”
When asked about that date in relation to a Valdez-Stevenson fight, Arum responded, “Well, there you go.”
That date is key for Top Rank broadcast partner ESPN because it will televise the annual NLF Draft, which will take place in Las Vegas, from April 28 to April 30, and it wants to have another notable event on the same weekend in the same city like it does each year when it has Top Rank put on a boxing event at Madison Square Garden in New York to immediately follow its broadcast of college football’s annual Heisman Trophy Award show, which also takes place in New York.
As we wrote previously, Arum had expressed that he wanted Stevenson, 17-0, 9 KOs after his October TKO of Jamel Herring, to fight former Undisputed Lightweight champ Vasiliy Lomachenko next.
However, Lomachenko remains in play to potentially go to Australia and meet the current 135 lb. king George Kambosos there later this year.
So, enter Valdez, who is fresh off controversial decision win over Robson Conceicao in September after having testing positive for a banned stimulant, yet still being allowed to fight and by the WBC to keep his 130 lb. belt.
Valdez is 30-0, 23 KOs, and scored a devastating KO of former WBC Jr. Lightweight champ Miguel Berchelt last February. That has him in position to battle the former Olympic Silver Medalist Stevenson.
Rafael reported later in his item that an independent source from Arum also confirmed that Stevenson and Valdez have agreed to meet and financial terms. Now, they wait for confirmation on the “when,” which appears to be late April.