Decisively defeating the unbeaten WBC super featherweight champion April 30 will show the uninitiated, Stevenson suspects, that he is an elite-level talent worthy of pound-for-pound status and bigger purses more commensurate with his skills. The undefeated southpaw discussed the opportunity that awaits him in their 12-round, 130-pound title unification fight and what awaits him when he wins during an interview with ESPN’s Mark Kriegel.
“I think this fight gonna turn me in to a superstar,” Stevenson said. “I feel like a lot of people gonna be tuned in on this fight. A lot of people, they might make me the favorite, but a lot of people don’t really understand how good I am yet. They don’t understand how badly that I could beat up Oscar Valdez.
“He’s a dog. Like, he’s somebody who don’t take no for a answer. He won’t quit. He wanna punch you when you punch him, and see who punch the hardest. And I’m just not that guy for the job that he think that we about to go in there and do.”
Mexico’s Valdez is undefeated (30-0, 23 KOs), has won world titles in two weight classes and dominated countryman Miguel Berchelt in a 130-pound title fight in which Berchelt entered as a 4-1 favorite 13 months ago. Valdez viciously knocked out Berchelt (38-3, 34 KOs) with a left hook in the 10th round of their February 2021 bout at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Most sportsbooks have still installed Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) as almost a 5-1 favorite in a main event ESPN will broadcast from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Stevenson, 24, overwhelmed Jamel Herring with his hand speed, boxing ability, movement and strength during their one-sided championship match five months ago.
The 2016 Olympic silver medalist was ahead by wide distances – 90-81, 90-81 and 89-82 – when referee Mark Nelson sensibly stopped their fight for Herring’s WBO junior lightweight title in the 10th round October 23 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. Cincinnati’s Herring (23-3, 11 KOs) was still on his feet when Nelson stepped between them to end their scheduled 12-rounder 1:30 into the 10th round.