Report: Shakur Stevenson, Oscar Valdez Nearing Contract for Title Unification Fight

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 23:  (R-L) Shakur Stevenson walks out with artist Quavo before facing Jamel Herring in their lightweight fight at State Farm Arena on October 23, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Getty Images)
Brandon Magnus/Getty Images

Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez are working toward an agreement for a fight on April 30 to unify the 130-pound title, according to ESPN's Mike Coppinger.

Stevenson earned a 10th-round TKO of Jamel Herring in his last fight to claim the WBO belt for the junior lightweight division. Valdez successfully retained the WBC super featherweight crown after winning a unanimous decision over Robson Conceicao in September.

This encounter will be a long time coming.

Stevenson called out Valdez in July, saying the Mexico native "ran from me at 126." He added his move to the 130-pound class meant they were once again back in the same division.

The war of words continued in Stevenson's post-fight interview after he defeated Herring. He had a message for Valdez (around the 2:30 mark): "Oscar can't keep ducking [me]."

Valdez responded in an interview with DAZN Espanol in November that "without a doubt Shakur Stevenson is the only one I see.

"Everywhere I go, I hear his name mentioned. For a long time Shakur has said that we are afraid of him, but he is wrong, because this is the fight we want."

Stevenson (17-0) and Valdez (30-0) would both be putting their undefeated records on the line. The latter will also be motivated to make a statement in the ring following his positive test for phentermine.

Valdez was still allowed to fight Conceicao despite the positive test. The 31-year-old denied taking the substance, but that denial and his victory didn't stop ESPN from temporarily removing him from its ranking of the junior lightweight division. Stevenson instead occupies the top spot.