Unbeaten super featherweight champs meet in unification bout

·1-min read
US southpaw Shakur Stevenson, at left punching countryman Jamel Herring in a 2021 victory, fights Mexico's Oscar Valdez on Saturday in Las Vegas in a fight between undefeated super featherweight world boxing champions (AFP/Brandon Magnus) (Brandon Magnus)

Undefeated super featherweight champions Oscar Valdez of Mexico and Shakur Stevenson of the United States will fight Saturday in a boxing unification showdown at Las Vegas.

The winner between World Boxing Council title-holder Valdez, 30-0 with 23 knockouts, and World Boxing Organization champion Stevenson, 17-0 with nine knockouts, will emerge as the unbeaten ring king in the 130-pound division.

Stevenson, 24, was an 2016 Rio Olympic bantamweight silver medalist who took his WBO title by stopping fellow US southpaw Jamel Herring in the 10th round last October.

"I'm the best young fighter in the world and I'll become the unified champion," said Stevenson. "I can't wait to get in there."

Two-time Mexican Olympian Valdez, 31, knocked out Mexico's Miguel Berchelt 14 months ago to claim the WBC title, making him the longest-tenured champion in the division.

"I want to make it clear I'm the best 130-pound fighter in the world," Valdez said.

He defended the crown last September with a 12-round decision over 2016 Olympic lightweight champion Robson Conceicao of Brazil.

Valdez tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing stimulant phentermine just eight days before defending his title. He was allowed to fight because, under the World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines used by the Native American tribal commission overseeing the fight, stimulants were banned only during competition.

Both Valdez and Stevenson are former WBO featherweight champions.

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