Undefeated super featherweight champions meet in unification bout


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Las Vegas (AFP) Undefeated super featherweight champions Oscar Valdez of Mexico and Shakur Stevenson of the United States will fight Saturday in a boxing unification showdown in Las Vegas.

The winner between World Boxing Council titleholder Valdez, 30-0 with 23 knockouts, and World Boxing Organization champion Stevenson, 17-0 with nine knockouts, will become the undefeated king of the ring in the 130-pound division.

Stevenson, 24, was a Rio 2016 Olympic bantamweight silver medalist who won his WBO title by stopping fellow American southpaw Jamel Herring in the 10th round last October.

“I’m the best young fighter in the world and I will become the unified champion,” Stevenson said. “I can’t wait to get in there.”

Two-time Mexican Olympian Valdez, 31, knocked out Mexican Miguel Berchelt 14 months ago to win the WBC title, making him the longest-serving champion in the division.

“I want to make it clear that I’m the best 130-pound fighter in the world,” Valdez said.

He defended the crown last September with a 12-round decision over 2016 Olympic lightweight champion Robson Conceicao of Brazil.

Valdez tested positive for the banned stimulant phentermine, just eight days before defending his title. He was allowed to fight because, according to World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines used by the Native American Tribal Commission overseeing the fight, stimulants were only prohibited during competition.

Valdez and Stevenson are both former WBO featherweight champions.

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