Boxing: Stevenson dominates Valdez in super featherweight unification bout

America's Shakur Stevenson (right) and Mexico's Oscar Valdez during a title unification fight on April 30 in Las Vegas. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Shakur Stevenson dominated Oscar Valdez on the way to a unanimous decision victory on Saturday (April 1) to add the Mexican's World Boxing Council (WBC) super featherweight title to his own World Boxing Organisation (WBO) belt.

American Stevenson improved to 18-0 as he handed Mexico's Valdez his first defeat in 31 professional fights.

Stevenson sent Valdez to the canvas with a left to the head in the sixth round on the way to his first defence of the WBO title he won with a 10th-round technical knockout of Jamel Herring in October.

Valdez upset Miguel Berchelt in 2021 to win the WBC title and retained it with a unanimous decision over Robson Conceicao in September.

The 31-year-old Mexican, a two-time Olympian, was embroiled in controversy when the bout against Conceicao was allowed to go ahead after he tested positive for the banned stimulant phentermine eight days before the fight.

Valdez blamed the positive result on herbal tea and authorities ruled the drug was prohibited only during competition.

On Saturday, Valdez had no answer for Stevenson's speed and movement.

Two judges scored it 118-109 in favor of Stevenson and a third saw it 117-110 for the American.

"He is a tough champion, but I prepared to beat him," Stevenson said in an in-ring interview. "I'm ready for anyone, I want all the belts."

But Stevenson had personal business to attend to immediately after the fight.

He dropped to one knee in the ring to propose to his girlfriend, rapper Young Lyric, who said yes. The couple have a baby daughter.

Valdez acknowledged that Stevenson was the better fighter on the night.

"He has a very great boxing quality and today he was the best in the ring," Valdez said.

"He moves very well, he's a champion. He has speed, he's a great boxer."

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