Shakur Stevenson makes P4P move with Oscar Valdez unification victory
Shakur Stevenson made a big move in the Pound for Pound rankings with a decisive triumph against Top Rank rival Oscar Valdez.
A superstar was born as WBO super featherweight champion Stevenson outboxed and outfoxed WBC ruler Valdez unanimously.
After twelve rounds, scores in Las Vegas read 118-109 [twice] and 117-110. Stevenson cracked the WBN P4P top twenty with the win for the first time in his career.
On Saturday evening, 10,102 fans packed the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) established the southpaw jab in the early going. Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) could not get his offense going outside of pockets of success in the third round.
Stevenson spun Valdez into the ropes and knocked him down with a right hand in the sixth.
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.
Shakur Stevenson said: “This victory means everything. I told you all what I was going to do. I said I’m going to beat Valdez, Canelo, and Eddy Reynoso.
“That was my game plan, beat the whole team, and I feel good about it. Much respect to them all – 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.”
Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis battered Mexican veteran Esteban Sanchez (18-2, 8 KOs).
He won via a 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.
“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 picking up round after round.
“But I loved this fight because it challenged me. I felt challenged in the ring. I was happy I got the great performance and the stoppage.”
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.
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. But I wish the best for him and his team. He’s a true warrior. I just waited for that setup, and I saw it, and I took advantage.”
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.
Junior Lightweight: Andres Cortes (17-0, 10 KOs) KO 6 Alexis del Bosque (18-6-1, 9 KOs). A Las Vegas native, Cortes 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.
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.
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 several lefts and rights left Ramos defenseless.
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 Cobb’s spotless record with a determined effort, sweeping the last two rounds on the judges’ cards to earn a draw.
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