Shakur Stevenson vs. Oscar Valdez combat prediction, undercard, odds, birth time, preview, live movement - CBS sports

If there's any bad blood between unbeaten one hundred thirty-pound champions Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez, it stems from Stevenson's belief that he has long been averted by way of the man he will rectangular off with in Saturday's unification battle from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  

Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), a former featherweight titleholder who became as soon as Valdez's obligatory challenger at 126 pounds, believes Valdez most effective moved as much as junior lightweight to evade him. And even after Valdez upset long-reigning WBC champion Miguel Berchelt in 2021's knockout of the year, Stevenson feels Valdez tried every thing he may do not to should go paths with him.  

The 24-year-old southpaw, who captured a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, even went as far as announcing he felt suitable Rank, which promotes both opponents, became extra involved at first in matching Valdez against WBO featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete, who's in view that moving up in weight.  

"I talk the certainty each time," Stevenson stated at Thursday's closing press convention. "I consider like he didn't need to combat me at 126. Now, we're right here at 130. He become making an attempt to combat Navarrete earlier than fighting me. but we're right here now. We can't keep speaking about that.  

"The fight is Saturday, and that i'm ready to fight."

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For the listing, Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) has denied even the mention that he became hoping to duck Stevenson, who has been in comparison to a young Floyd Mayweather after hot the competition en path to two world titles in as many divisions.  

Valdez, a local of Nogales, Mexico, changed into the headliner of a excellent Rank card that doubled as Stevenson's 2017 professional debut and said he has been preparing for a probable pro meeting against him ever seeing that first gazing Stevenson in the amateurs.  

"identical to in this battle, i used to be very focused on the battle I had in entrance of me," talked about Valdez, on the nighttime he defended his WBO featherweight title four years ago towards Miguel Marriaga. "I had popular about Shakur Stevenson. I noticed him within the Olympics. He was a great fighter then, and he's grew to become into a fine champion now." 

Like Stevenson, the 31-yr-historical Valdez also had a embellished novice career and represented Mexico at the 2012 Olympics. He also captured world titles at 126 and a hundred thirty kilos however is getting into this fight fresh off a tumultuous 12 months of equal highs and lows.  

Valdez begun 2021 with the aid of exceeding all expectations in his upset knockout of Berchelt, which changed into considered as a triumph mostly for the way a whole lot the influence of perennial trainer of the 12 months Eddy Reynoso, who helped Valdez sharpen up his method to pair with his trademark toughness and aggression. however simply as Valdez appeared to be closing in as a probable pound-for-pound degree skill, controversy quickly adopted.  

forward of a September return in opposition t unbeaten Robson Conceicao, Valdez established superb for a banned substance yet become controversially allowed to nonetheless combat. The poor headlines perceived to mess with Valdez's focal point as he struggled to an in depth resolution win.  

besides the fact that children Valdez continues to face firm upon his perception that the high quality check become brought about by his consumption of natural tea, Stevenson hasn't forgotten and has long past as far as reminding Valdez to "make certain you are now not cheating" throughout all public hobbies that includes both champions all over fight week. 

"he's the type of fighter that talks plenty and is at all times working his mouth," Valdez pointed out. "i am no longer like that. I let my fists do the speaking. he is the class of fighter that isn't willing to head to conflict. i am the type of fighter that always wants to supply the enthusiasts what they need. in view that he isn't inclined to give the fans what they want, this will be extra of a chess fit. It should be more of a technical fight.  

"the best fighter interior the ring will win." 

both fighters have welcomed elite talent alongside them to aid put together as Valdez has labored in the equal camp as Canelo Alvarez ahead of his may return and Stevenson has welcomed "big brother" Terence Crawford into camp for fine sparring.  

even though it's clear Valdez believes in his options, the oddsmakers disagree. Stevenson, who produced probably the most thorough performance of his career in stopping WBO champion Jamel Herring remaining October, has been installed as a enormous making a bet favourite as excessive as 8-1.  

"the odds are towards me and everybody thinks he will stroll far and wide me," Valdez referred to. "however similar to towards Berchelt, i will be able to use that as motivation. i do know I have a troublesome battle in front of me but this is not some thing that I haven't performed before. Like we say in Mexico, i'm inclined to die on the line simply to win. it really is all that matters to me." 

As expected, the brash Stevenson has no shortage of confidence entering his toughest examine up to now.  

"the area hasn't considered every little thing that Shakur Stevenson can do in a boxing ring yet," Stevenson talked about. "i am boxing's subsequent superstar and my efficiency [on Saturday] is going to show that."

earlier than we get to Stevenson vs. Valdez, a pair of possibilities receives their opportunity to shine once again on the undercard. Former Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis takes on Esteban Sanchez in a lightweight contest. Davis, 23, earned his medal at the 2020 Tokyo games and has long past 4-0 with three knockouts on account that turning professional in February 2021. Plus, Nico Ali Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali, makes his fifth commute to the ring when he takes on Alejandro Ibarra at middleweight. Ali Walsh, 21, turned professional in August 2021 and also has three knockouts in 4 pro fights.

below is the comprehensive combat card for Saturday nighttime on ESPN along with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook before attending to a prediction and knowledgeable decide upon on the leading event.

fight card, odds
  • Shakur Stevenson (c) -800 vs. Oscar Valdez (c) +550, junior lightweight unification
  • Keyshawn Davis -1300 vs. Esteban Sanchez +800, lightweight
  • Nico Ali Walsh -1500 vs. Alejandro Ibarra +850, middleweight
  • Viewing counsel
  • Date: April 30 | place: MGM Grand backyard area -- Las Vegas
  • start time: 10 p.m. ET 
  • television channel: ESPN | are living circulate: fuboTV (try for free of charge)
  • Prediction 

    Valdez is talented and versatile enough to make this, at least on paper, a potentially interesting fashion matchup. however make no mistake about it, if Valdez is unable to slow down and discipline the sublimely short Stevenson, this additionally has the knowledge to be a surgical dissection.  

    The comparisons to a young Mayweather, particularly the "relatively Boy" version from the turn of the century, appear to be apt for Stevenson. he's removed from a big puncher yet the velocity and accuracy of his combinations have proven to be lethal.  

    If Valdez has problem dealing with that velocity and is unable to time Stevenson, comparable to how Marquez realized to punch with Pacquiao all the way through their four-battle rivalry, the possibility of cuts and sustained harm can be possible. lucky for Valdez, he has shown significant punch resistance during the past, combating through a damaged jaw to live longer than Scott Quigg in their 2018 featherweight thriller.  

    The largest problem for Valdez, however, is he may additionally have already shown how amazing he can be via raising his online game against Berchelt. And even that edition probably may not be ample to defeat Stevenson may still the native of Newark, New Jersey, proceed to lift his efficiency on the level he has each time the nice of his competition has improved.  

    it's convenient to make a comparison to a 23-yr-historic Mayweather dealing with fellow unbeaten (and enormous puncher) Diego Corrales in their personal one hundred thirty-pound title showdown in 2001. 5 knockdowns later after Corrales' corner threw within the towel to conclusion a one-sided dismantling in round 10, Mayweather had cemented himself as a properly P4P danger.

    are expecting Stevenson to do the identical.  

    decide upon: Stevenson via TKO11

    Who wins Stevenson vs. Valdez? And which prop is a ought to-again? visit SportsLine now to see Brandon clever's choicest bets for Saturday, all from the CBS fight activities professional who crushed his boxing picks in 2021, and discover.

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