LAS VEGAS -- Shakur Stevenson jogged around the ring with his hands held high as the seconds ticked away on the biggest night of his career.
For 12 rounds, he practically played with Oscar Valdez in what turned out to be an utter mismatch in the ESPN main event Saturday before 10,102 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Stevenson is simply that good.
He used an excellent southpaw jab -- one of the best weapons in boxing -- to keep Valdez at range and set up his own powerful left hand to the body. The unanimous-decision victory, with scores of 118-109, 117-117 and 118-19, handed Stevenson a second title at 130 pounds.
"I'm a superstar in this sport," said Stevenson, 24. "Line 'em up. I'm ready for whoever."
Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) delivered a career-best performance in his previous outing, a 10th-round stoppage of Jamel Herring in his first bout against a reigning titleholder. The Newark, New Jersey-born Stevenson was criticized for his risk-averse style, but against Herring, he showed a more aggressive side.
Nico Ali Walsh knocks out opponent in final seconds of first round
Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of Muhammad Ali, knocks out Alejandro Ibarra in the final seconds of the first round.
NEW YORK -- The seconds ticked down in the fight and Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano stood in the middle of the ring, caring little about protecting their face, their stance or anything. Hands were thrown constantly from both sides, one-after-another-after-another.
Serrano was bleeding around her right eye. Taylor bleeding around her nose. What was labeled the biggest fight in women's boxing history lived up to the massive hype -- and two of the top three fighters of their generation doing everything possible to end the fight on the terms they wanted.
It was a fight that was a thing of beauty -- a split decision 97-93, 96-93, 94-96 win for Taylor over Serrano with Taylor keeping her undisputed lightweight championship.
Valdez-Shakur round-by-round analysis
Official result: Shakur Stevenson adds a second 130-pound title with a unanimous-decision victory over Oscar Valdez: 117-110, 118-109, 118-109. Domination. Stevenson is that good and will be a pound-for-pound fighter soon enough.
Round 12: Shakur and Valdez traded some big shots in the final round of what will be a wide-points win for Stevenson. As the seconds ticked away, Stevenson jogged around the ring with his hands held high. It's a shutout on my card -- Valdez won two rounds max. 120-107, Stevenson.
Round 11: Shakur is more aggressive in the penultimate round. He connected on a four-punch combination late in the round and landed a bundle of power shots to the head throughout. Valdez needs a KO to win. 10-9, Stevenson. 110-98, Stevenson.
Round 10: Stevenson simply punishing Valdez to the body and hurt him with a left to the midsection during the second half of the round. Valdez continues to push forward with a high guard, but he's now throwing many punches. 10-9, Stevenson. 100-89, Stevenson.
Round 9: Valdez looking for one big shot that hasn't come close to materializing. Stevenson really targeting the body with the left hand now and it rarely misses. 10-0, Stevenson. 90-80, Stevenson.
Round 8: Stevenson in total control here. Valdez's output continues to dip. No answers for anything Shakur does. Impressive to see the way Shakur controls distance with his jab and his footwork. Always taking a step back when Valdez takes a step forward. 10-9, Stevenson. 80-71, Stevenson.
Round 7: Stevenson pushed for the KO after the knockdown in Round 6 but was far more patient in this round as he returned to the jab. Valdez needs something big here to change this fight. 10-9, Stevenson. 70-62, Stevenson.
Round 6: Shakur floors Valdez early in the round with a cuffing right hook that sent Valdez stumbling into the ropes, before a second right hand knocked him to the canvas when he was already off-balance. 10-8, Stevenson. 60-53, Stevenson.
Round 5: Stevenson now letting his hands go more. He continues to score with a straight left to the body set up by the southpaw jab. Valdez not throwing nearly enough. He's sitting on the end of that long jab and eating punches. Valdez cut under right eye. 10-9, Stevenson. 50-45, Stevenson.
Round 4: Valdez finally goes to the body after he works his way inside, but he couldn't sustain control. Stevenson continues to pump the jab in Valdez's face. Effective but no fireworks yet. 10-9, Stevenson. 40-36, Stevenson.
Round 3: Closer round, as Valdez lands a couple of right hands early in the frame, but Stevenson goes right back to the jab and is now mixing in some left hands to the body. Valdez is trying to make this a rough fight but has neglected the body attack. 10-9, Stevenson. 30-27, Stevenson.
Round 2: Stevenson's jab still the weapon of choice. Valdez tried to move past it with some flurries and found success late, but the speed and size advantage Stevenson enjoys also looms large. 10-9, Stevenson. 20-18, Stevenson.
Round 1: Shakur Stevenson dictated the pace with his excellent southpaw jab. Valdez rarely got past it. Best punch of the round was a powerful counter left from Stevenson, though Valdez landed a right hand late. 10-9, Stevenson.
Taylor-Serrano round-by-round analysis
Round 10: Good defense from Taylor. Serrano, as she has done all fight, tried to be the aggressor. But Taylor's style made it hard to do. Plus, Taylor landed enough punches to take the round. Taylor hurt Serrano in the last round. Taylor 10-9. 95-95.
Round 9: Serrano seemed to stagger Taylor a couple of times and also landed some good body shots, enough to get her the round. Serrano 10-9. 86-85, Serrano.
Round 8: Taylor did a good job evading Serrano's advances and countered well when the opportunities were there. Taylor 10-9. 76-76.
Round 7: A slower round for both fighters. Serrano landed a couple of shots late that might have given it to her, but could go either way. Serrano 10-9. 67-66, Serrano.
Round 6: Another close round. Taylor landed some effective shots, but Serrano just kept coming and walking through them. Serrano had a lot of smart lands, too, but Taylor might have had more of them. Taylor 10-9. 57-57.
Round 5: Serrano dominant. Just in the corner for almost half of it and punishing her. Taylor fought back to get it close to even but Serrano landed many more effective shots as Taylor tried to push into her. Serrano 10-9. Serrano 48-47.
Round 4: Taylor controlled this round. While Serrano was more aggressive, Taylor was able to respond and counter effectively while also landing enough to put pressure on Serrano. Taylor 10-9. 38-38.
Round 3: Another close round, but Serrano landed more strong shots, including a flurry of them in the last 30 seconds to take the round. Serrano 10-9. Serrano 29-28.
Round 2: Taylor showed more aggression this round and found ways to evade Serrano's power. Closer round, but Taylor might have done enough of both offense and defense to pull it out. Taylor 10-9. 19-19.
Round 1: Amanda Serrano appeared to be the aggressor the entire round, including getting Katie Taylor in a corner for part of the round. Serrano, 10-9.
Ali Walsh scores must-see KO of Ibarra in first round
Keyshawn Davis stops opponent in co-main event
Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis earns another victory in the co-main event of Top Rank Boxing.
Nico Ali Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali, scored a spectacular first-round KO in his hometown debut.
Ali Walsh (5-0, 4 KOs) connected on an overhand right that ended the middleweight bout against Alejandro Ibarra with 10 seconds remaining in the opening round.
Ibarra (7-2, 2 KOs), a 28-year-old from Denver, was riding a four-fight winning streak.
The 21-year-old Ali Walsh, who turned pro in August, was coming off a second-round TKO in January.
"This is just a testament to all the work I put in," Ali Walsh said. "Stuff like this happens when you put the work in. I'm bringing my grandpa back to life, and that's why mom gets so emotional because she's seeing her dad again and hearing her dad's name to me."
Davis stops Sanchez for his fifth victory
Keyshawn Davis continued his development with another dominant performance, this time a sixth-round TKO of Esteban Sanchez.
The Olympic silver medalist connected on 157 punches to just 20 from Sanchez, a comprehensive beating from bell to bell.
The 23-year-old from Norwalk, Virginia, unloaded power shot after power shot on a helpless Sanchez when the referee mercifully stopped it with 16 seconds left in Round 6.
Davis (5-0, 4 KOs) could compete for a world title in 2023. Sanchez (18-2, 8 KOs), of Mexico, meanwhile, lost for the third time in four fights.
Smith stops Vargas in great performance
It was just too much at the end. Liam Smith kept throwing and throwing and Jessie Vargas couldn't do anything. For a few rounds it had been like this, and in the 10th round, Vargas' corner had seen enough. Their fighter wasn't going to win the fight.
And he was getting far too punished.
So they threw in the towel in Round 10, saving their fighter more brutality. That gave Smith, of Liverpool, England, his second straight knockout win, this time over Vargas in the co-main event. His supporters in the crowd erupted in fist pumps and were bouncing like they were at one of the clubs in this city's Meatpacking District, with Smith egging them on from inside the ring.
Smith (31-3-1, 18 KO) was dominant throughout. It was an action-heavy fight until the last two rounds, when Vargas struggled to put together a counter defense.
By midfight, both boxers' white trunks were colored with blood. While it was a back-and-forth tussle, Smith had continuously kept Vargas (29-4-1, 11 KO) on the ropes. While Vargas, from Las Vegas, did defend well from that position, Smith was clearly the aggressor, throwing a varied amounts of power shots and body shots on Vargas, whose face had been bloodied by the start of the seventh round.
As chants of "Ole, Ole, Ole" continued to course through Madison Square Garden, Smith pushed forward his continual attack. By the end of the seventh, Vargas was taking a lot -- a lot -- of punishment.
All fight long, Smith walked Vargas down. Every round was almost a carbon copy of the one before -- Vargas trying to fight back, but Smith just continually pushing forward with technical proficiency and accuracy. By the ninth, Vargas was barely throwing punches back. He was protecting himself, but more likely he was trying to survive.
In Las Vegas: Lightweight power puncher Raymond Muratalla (14-0, 12 KOs), 25, of Fontana, California, demolished Jeremy Hill (16-3, 11 KOs), 29, from New Orleans, in Round 3 to score his ninth consecutive stoppage win.
Crews-Dezurn wins undisputed super middleweight championship
Franchon Crews-Dezurn started to get a little bit emotional as she raised her arms in a flexing pose. She knew what was coming next. One by one, the belts were placed on her arms, the honor given to a champion and even a bigger one to an undisputed champion.
In a unanimous decision -- 99-91, 99-91, 97-93 -- on Saturday night, she unified all four major super middleweight world titles by beating Elin Cederroos.
"I don't even know," said an emotional Crews-Dezurn in the ring following the fight. "I don't even know."
Crews-Dezurn, 34, of Norfolk, Virginia, who retained her WBC and WBO titles, said she didn't know if she'd get this opportunity, either. When she did, she handled it with ease. From the start of the fight, Crews-Dezurn (8-1, 2 KO) went right at Cederroos, bloodying her nose and setting the tone for the entire fight. With a plethora of strong right hands, she kept Cederroos from having a chance at all.
Sweden's Cederroos (8-1, 4 KO), 37, found more of a rhythm in the latter stages of the fight, including strong seventh and eighth rounds. It proved to not be enough, though, for her to hold on to her WBA and IBF titles. -- Michael Rothstein
In Las Vegas: Andres Cortes (17-0, 10 KOs) sent Mexico's Alexis del Bosque (18-6-1, 9 KOs), 27, to the canvas twice en route to a sixth-round KO win. The end came at 43 seconds of the round for the 24-year-old junior lightweight from Las Vegas.
In Las Vegas: Top middleweight prospect Isley stays unbeaten
Troy Isley, who represented the U.S. in the Olympics last summer, improved to 5-0 on the Valdez-Stevenson undercard.
The middleweight prospect scored his third stoppage in the pros with an impressive body-punching display. A left hand to the midsection floored Anthony Hannah in Round 2 before a right hand to the body ended the fight with 27 seconds left in the frame.
Hannah (3-3), a native of Augusta, Georgia, was stopped for the second time. Isley, 23, from Washington, D.C., was competing for the second time in 2022. -- Mike Coppinger
In New York: Yafai stops Cartagena in Round 2
It didn't last long. Two rounds, to be exact, before the corner of Miguel Cartagena stopped the scheduled 10-round flyweight bout against Galal Yafai.
Yafai had been fairly dominant throughout the first two rounds of the contest before Cartagena's corner urged the referee to stop it.
The 29-year-old Yafai (2-0, 2 KO), from of Birmingham, England, has still not gone close to the distance in any fight. In his first pro bout in February, he had a TKO against Carlos Vado Bautista. On Saturday, he picked up his second win in even less time.
Cartagena (27-7-1, 8 KO), 29, from Philadelphia, had a two-fight win streak snapped. Before that, he had lost three straight contests. -- Michael Rothstein
In New York: Galal Yafai (2-0, 2 KOs), of Birmingham, England, dominated Miguel Cartagena (17-7-1, 8 KOs), from Philadelphia, to score a second-round TKO victory in their flyweight fight.
In Las Vegas: Abdullah Mason, of Cleveland, Ohio, moved to 2-0 with two KOs by defeating Argentina's Luciano Ramos by first-round TKO. Ramos is now 1-3 in his career.
In Las Vegas: Jaylan Phillips (2-2, 1 KO), of Ebro, Florida, and Antoine Cobb (1-1, 1 KO), of Chicago, Illinois, fought to a majority draw in a four-round welterweight bout. One judge had the fight 39-37 for Phillips, and the other two judges scored the bout 38-38.