Shakur Stevenson learns from Floyd Mayweather ahead of Oscar Valdez unification fight

  • Tom Ward
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Shakur Stevenson has been learning from boxing legend Floyd Mayweather ahead of his unification clash with Oscar Valdez on Saturday.

Stevenson, 24, headlines at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on April 30, defending his WBO super-featherweight world title against Valdez.

The undefeated American has undergone an extensive training camp ahead of his 18th professional fight, sparring with the likes of Terence Crawford and Keyshawn Davis.

Stevenson recently became a father for the first time and seems as focused as ever heading into this legacy-defining fight.

The 24-year-old has previously been compared to 45-year-old Mayweather and, in a recent interview, shared some tips and tricks he has picked up from the man himself.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he 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.

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Shakur Stevenson stopped Jamel Herring last time out

“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.”

Ahead of the fight, some fans have also pointed out the similarities between Stevenson vs Valdez and Mayweather’s 2001 clash with Diego Corrales.

Back then, both men were also undefeated at the time, with Corrales boasting 33 wins to Mayweather’s 23 career victories.

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However, it was the younger Mayweather who emerged victorious, as he won every round and knocked his opponent down five times before his cornermen threw in the towel in round ten.

Despite the huge praise, Stevenson knows he has got his work cut out when he steps into the ring against Valdez tomorrow night.

He told BoxingScene.com: “I’m not trying to sleep on nobody like I got it won without putting the work in.

“When I hear people say, [this is like Mayweather’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.” 

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