Sources: Stevenson, Valdez work on title unifier

Boxing

Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez are in the process of finalizing a deal for a 130-pound title unification fight on April 30 in Las Vegas, sources told ESPN on Sunday.

Sources said no financial agreement has been reached for the proposed ESPN main event.

After Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) scored a brutal knockout of Miguel Berchelt in February to claim a junior lightweight title, Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) publicly lobbied for the title opportunity. Instead, Stevenson settled for a shot at Jamel Herring, another 130-pound titleholder promoted by Top Rank.

Stevenson, 24, seized his chance with the best performance of his career, a 10th-round TKO of Herring in October. Long dogged by criticism that he doesn’t fight aggressively, the Newark, New Jersey, native applied nonstop pressure during the one-sided beating.

Now, Stevenson is on the verge of landing the fight he wanted all along but with two belts on the line.

While the Olympic silver medalist enters the potential fight with momentum on his side, Valdez is looking for redemption. The two-time Olympian from Mexico tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug phentermine in August, just weeks before he was set to make the first defense of his title.

Despite the adverse finding, Valdez was allowed to fight Robson Conceicao as planned. Valdez was installed as a heavy favorite but struggled during the first half of the bout en route to a controversial decision victory.

Valdez, 31, was ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 130 pounds before he was dropped from the rankings due to the failed test. Stevenson is currently ESPN’s No. 1 junior lightweight.

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