Watch the unification fight between WBO super-featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson and WBC king Oscar Valdez live on Sky Sports Main Event and Action from 2am, Sunday; Stevenson tells Sky Sports he has Floyd Mayweather mindset of staying relaxed around big fights
Shakur Stevenson believes he is “under the skin” of fellow unbeaten super-featherweight Oscar Valdez and has vowed to “dominate” their unification fight on Saturday night.
WBO champion Stevenson (17-0) and WBC belt holder Valdez (30-0) put their respective world titles on the line in Las Vegas, live on Sky Sports.
American star Stevenson claimed the WBO belt with a 10th-round stoppage of countryman Jamel Herring in October as he followed Valdez in becoming a two-weight world champion, with both fighters formerly holding the WBO featherweight title.
Live boxing on Sky Sports
Stevenson told Sky Sports he believes Valdez did not want to fight him at featherweight and feels the Mexican may regret taking the bout in a higher weight class, saying there is “definitely” a chance of him winning via knockout.
Stevenson said of the verbal battle: “I’m fully under his skin, I know for a fact. I can clearly tell I’m under his skin. This rivalry has been going a long time.
“I have been trying to fight him. I was his mandatory at 126lb but the fight didn’t happen at that time. Maybe it’s destiny but I believe he didn’t want to fight at that time.
“He waited this long and I feel it was a bad idea for him to wait. They’ve got a more-experienced Shakur Stevenson, not the same one they would have got when I was 126lb.
“I’m going in and I’m going to dominate. Whatever game plan I have, I want to execute. That’s what I’ll do on Saturday night, I’m going in there to win every round.
“[Most definitely] there could be a knockout. A lot of people are saying the fight will go to unanimous decision, with me winning, but don’t sleep on that. There’s very much a possibility I could catch him with a good shot.
“I’m in a hell of a shape, I’m just so ready to fight now, ready to go in and do what I’ve been trying to do. This is the biggest fight of my career. I’m excited, I can’t wait to perform.”
Stevenson: I am relaxed like Floyd Mayweather
Stevenson says he has the Floyd Mayweather Jr “mindset” of staying calm in and around huge fights and has vowed to “shine” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena this weekend.
The New Jersey-born southpaw “respects” Valdez for taking on the fight and believes the duo’s battle is “great for boxing”.
Stevenson said: “I watch old Floyd [Mayweather] fights where he sells out arenas. If you pay attention to him, he is so relaxed.
“I feel like I’ve got that kind of mindset where I block everything out. I’m focused on fighting, making sure I’m relaxed. My mindset is that it’s another day in the office.
On Valdez, who has 23 knockout victories on his CV, Stevenson added: “I understand and respect the fact he’s taking a risk, he didn’t have to take the challenge, a big challenge.
“You got to respect him outside the ring, the character to sign the contract, I respect every bit of it but inside I don’t respect him. I’ve got no respect. I won’t respect anything inside the ring.
“It’s going to be a great fight and I feel I always step up to the plate in the biggest moments. On Saturday night, I’m going to step up to the plate. I’m going to shine.”
Watch Shakur Stevenson vs Oscar Valdez live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena from 2am on Sunday morning.