Headline News

Shakur Stevenson won’t block Carl Frampton’s path to WBO champ Oscar Valdez

It seems Carl Frampton’s team are unconcerned with the news the WBO have announced Shakur Stevenson as mandatory challenger to Oscar Valdez’s WBO featherweight world title.

‘The Jackal’ has been promised a shot at the Mexican in December if he manages to come through his clash with Emmanuel Gonzalez in Philadelphia on August 10. 

However, fans expressed concern as the journey towards a fourth world title looked to have taken another twist last week.

The WBO have ordered purse bids for a mandatory world title defence from featherweight champion Óscar Valdez [26(20)-0] versus Shakur Stevenson [12(7)-0].

The Puerto Rican body has stated that bids are due in by Friday August 2nd and must be at least $150,000.

The governing bodies order put fellow Top Rank fighter Stevenson in Valdez pole and threatens to ruin Frampton’s December plans.

However, MTK Global, the management outfit of which Frampton’s manager Johnney Roye is a part, remain confident the original road map remains unblemished.

The Irish News report that Team Frampton are confident the number one contender, who like their man and champion Valdez is signed to Top Rank, will step aside and allow the fight to play out once the Belfast fighter secures victory in Philly next week.

Indeed, it’s believed promoter Bob Arum would encourage the young talent to step aside regardless of his own personal preference.

The Olympic silver medal winner would demand to fight the winner meaning he may still have influence over the Jamie Moore-trained fighter’s plans.

Frampton had hoped to rematch with Josh Warrington if he was to regain world champion status again before trying to unify further with another return with Leo Santa Cruz.

There had been some rumours suggesting Valdez may have finally decided to move up in weight and Frampton and Stevenson may fight for the vacated strap, but those suggestions have been shot down.

Valdez’s manager Frank Espinoza previously stated the Mexican wanted a big fight before moving up and that remains to be the case.

“Oscar Valdez wants a big name, either [Josh] Warrington or Frampton,” said Espinoza.

“He feels he deserves a fight with one of them. Valdez has been at featherweight for his whole career and defended his title six times successfully.”

“It’s no longer easy make the weight but will for Warrington or Frampton. He feels he deserves those names.”


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com