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Shakur Stevenson topples Oscar Valdez to unify WBC, WBO junior lightweight titles

A superstar was born. WBO junior lightweight world champion Shakur Stevensooutboxed and outfoxed WBC champion Oscar Valdez via unanimous decision (118-109 2x and 117-110) Saturday evening in front of 10,102 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. With the win, Stevenson earned the Ring Magazine title and status as the division’s top dog.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Shakur Stevenson (L) and Oscar Valdez (R) exchange punches during their WBC and WBO junior lightweight championship at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) established the southpaw jab in the early going, and Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) could not get his offence going outside of pockets of success in the third round. In the sixth, Stevenson spun Valdez into the ropes and knocked him down with a right hand.

It was all Stevenson in the second half of the fight, who built an insurmountable lead on the cards. Valdez won the 12th round on all three judges’ cards, but it was too little, too late. Stevenson asserted his dominance and is now the 130-pound king.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Shakur Stevenson (L) goes to the body of Oscar Valdez in their WBC and WBO junior lightweight championship fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Stevenson said, “This victory means everything. I told ya’ll what I was going to do. I said I’m gonna beat Valdez, Canelo and Eddy Reynoso, so that was my game plan, beat the whole team and I feel good about it. Much respect to them, but that was my game plan.

“I want to collect all the belts at 130 and become undisputed. I deserve to be a superstar, so that’s what I gotta do.”

“He did what he had to do to win the fight,” Valdez said. “He’s a great fighter. His speed is there. Power is there. He was just the better fighter tonight. Overall, a great fighter.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Esteban Sanchez (L) and Keyshawn Davis (R) exchange punches during their lightweight fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Davis Knocks out Sanchez

The future of the lightweight division, Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis, battered Mexican veteran Esteban Sanchez (18-2, 8 KOs) en route to sixth-round TKO in the co-feature. Sanchez provided some resistance, but Davis (5-0, 4 KOs) wore down his foe round by round. He landed 56.8 percent of his power shots, including 34 of 53 in the sixth round.

Davis said, “He’s a great fighter, and I didn’t realize that until the first round. I said, ‘Whoa, he can fight!’ I knew I had to snap into a different Keyshawn. He’s a great fighter, a real respectful fighter. Hat’s off to Esteban Sanchez. Thank you for this opportunity. We should see a lot of Esteban Sanchez in the future.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Keyshawn Davis is victorious as he defeats Esteban Sanchez during their lightweight fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“I just kept staying steady, staying with my rhythm. My coach, {Brian McIntyre}, kept telling me to go the body. I was trying to stab him a lot in the rounds, and honestly, I was just picking up round after round. I loved this fight because it challenged me. I felt challenged in the ring. I was happy I got a great performance and the stoppage.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Nico Ali Walsh is the winner after knocking out Alejandro Ibarra in round one on undercard of the Oscar Valdez vs Shakur Stevenson fight night for the WBC and WBO junior lightweight championship at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Ali Walsh Destroys Ibarra

The youngster with the famous last name, middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, ignited the MGM Grand with a brutal first-round knockout over Alejandro Ibarra (7-2, 2 KOs). Ali Walsh (5-0, 4 KOs), the grandson of The Greatest, ended matters with a sweeping right hand.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Nico Ali Walsh (R) knocks-down Alejandro Ibarra (L) during their middleweight fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Ali Walsh said, “I was setting him up with the right hand. I noticed his left hand was going down when he threw the jab.

“I was trying to counter it, and that’s what I did. I wish the best for him and his team. He’s a true warrior. But I just waited for that setup, and I saw it and I took advantage.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Raymond Muratalla is victorious as he defeats Jeremy Hill during their lightweight fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Lightweight

Raymond Muratalla (14-0, 12 KOs) KO 3 Jeremy Hill (16-3, 11 KOs), 2:23. Enter the danger zone.

“Danger” Muratalla became the first man to stop New Orleans native Hill, finishing the fight with a crunching right hand.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Andres Cortes (R) knocks-down Alexis del Bosque (L) during their junior lightweight fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Junior Lightweight

Andres Cortes (17-0, 10 KOs) KO 6 Alexis del Bosque (18-6-1, 9 KOs). Cortes, a Las Vegas, native, put on a show for the hometown fans, knocking down Cortes twice in a brutal power punching display.

A three-punch combination dropped del Bosque in the sixth. After rising to his feet gingerly, the fight was halted.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Troy Isley (R) knocks-down Anthony Hannah (L) exchange punches during their middleweight fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Middleweight

Troy Isley (5-0, 3 KOs) TKO 2 Anthony Hannah (3-3, 2 KOs). U.S. Olympian Isley savaged Hannah with body blows, putting his overmatched foe down for the count with a right hand to the gut.

Earlier in the second, he knocked down Hannah with a left hook to the body.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Luciano Ramos (L) and Abdullah Mason (R) exchange punches during their lightweight fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Lightweight

Abdullah Mason (2-0, 2 KOs) TKO 1 Luciano Ramos (1-3), 2:32. The 18-year-old Mason, from Cleveland, Ohio, showed why he is one of the sport’s young prodigies with a first-round blitzing of Argentina’s Ramos.

Referee Tony Weeks stopped the carnage after an assortment of lefts and rights left Ramos defenceless.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 30: Jaylan Phillips (L) and Antoine Cobb (R) fight to a draw during their welterweight fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Welterweight 

Jaylan Phillips (1-2-1, 1 KO) DRAW 4 Antoine Cobb (1-0-1, 1 KO). Scores: 39-37 Phillips and 38-38 2x.

Phillips spoiled the spotless record of Cobb with a determined effort, sweeping the last the two rounds on the judges’ cards to earn a draw.

Credit: Top Rank

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