Valdez was an underdog when he beat Berchelt, who has since looked faded in a stoppage loss to Jeremia Nakathila – a fighter Stevenson easily outclassed last year with a decision victory.
Stevenson is not underestimating Valdez, however.
“I’m not trying to sleep on nobody like I got it won without putting the work in,” said Stevenson. “When I hear people say, [this is the second coming of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s win against Diego Corrales] that’s like counting [Valdez] out. I’m not looking at it like that. I’ve still got a task in front of me.
“I think it’s a fight that is going to take me to the next level. Right now, this is the Shakur Stevenson era, and I’m Shakur Stevenson. I’m not Floyd Mayweather. Two different fighters, two different people, but I’m going to go in there and perform and beat him up.”
Stevenson is betting on himself and taking the smaller purse than Valdez despite being the betting favorite.
“My mindset is whatever it takes to win. They’re going to love you if you win, or they’re going to hate you if you lose. I’m not going in there to lose,” said Stevenson. “I’m an offense and defensive fighter, so I’m naturally going to put on a show, but I’m not going to stand there and receive none in return.”
The offensive-minded Valdez might stay away from his typical crowd-pleasing style in order to slow down the slick southpaw Stevenson.
“That might be my biggest mistake, that I fight for the crowd,” said Valdez. “I want to give the fans what they want, which is a good fight. This might be a little bit different, a technical fight, but as I said before. I’m going to give it my best. I’m going to give everything I can inside the ring to give the fans what they want. Most importantly, just to win.