Valdez vs Stevenson presser threatens to go off as teams trade slurs
The Shakur Stevenson vs. Oscar Valdez press conference threatened to get lively as the entourages of the pair exchanged heated words.
As Stevenson and Valdez prepared to take the stage, all in the room could hear slurs from both sides during the build-up.
At one point, security asked Stevenson’s team to chill as they edged towards the Valdez camp in an MGM Grand side room.
Once the fighters came out, they took center stage as the champions discussed Saturday’s fight.
“I’m very excited about this. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve dreamt of these kinds of opportunities, fighting for unified championships and fighting in Las Vegas,” said Valdez.
“I’m just very excited to be in this mega-fight right now. I can’t wait. I’m anxious to step in the ring on April 30.”
“It’s the perfect time to have this fight now. Shakur Stevenson is a two-time world champion right now. I’m a two-time world champion as well. It’s a perfect time.
“Let’s prove who is the best 130-pounder. So let’s get it on April 30. Let’s just show it. I think it’s the correct time to do it.
It doesn’t matter if Canelo trains me or teaches me different things. At the end of the day, it’s about who has the biggest heart in the ring on April 30.”
Stevenson said: “I speak the truth every time I talk. I felt like he didn’t want to fight me at 126. Now we’re here at 130.
“He was trying to fight [Emanuel] Navarrete before fighting me. But we’re here now. We can’t keep talking about that. The fight is Saturday, and I’m ready to fight.”
Clearing up talk of a pound-for-pound move, Stevenson added: “I never said I’m on the pound-for-pound list yet. I said that after this fight, once I get past Oscar Valdez, I’ll be on the pound-for-pound list.
“I think he’s going to bang. That’s it. I think he’s trying to trick me into thinking he will box me and be technical.
“I’m not falling for that. I’m ready for the Oscar Valdez who goes in there throwing hooks and putting pressure.”
Top Rank’s Bob Arum added his thoughts on the exceptional match-up.
“I really feel terrific. This shows how boxing should be produced,” said Arum.
“You’ll see in the main event two fighters who’ve had all of their professional fights with Top Rank. Now, they’ll be facing off against each other.
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