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Oscar Valdez vs. Scott Quigg is still on for tonight

By Chris Williams: Oscar Valdez and Scott Quigg are still facing each other on Saturday night on ESPN after a brief morning scare. It was up to Valdez and Top Rank whether they wanted to go through with the fight against Quigg or not, and ultimately they decided to do it.

Top Rank’s issue with Quigg is because he came in over the featherweight weight limit by nearly 3 pounds last Friday at the weigh-in. Valdez reportedly chose not to push for the secondary weigh-in this morning. Valdez wants to punish Quigg for coming in overweight by beating him tonight, according to the LA Times.

”He’s going to [blank] him up,” a Valdez associate told Lance Pugmire of the LA Times.

Valdez might not win the fight though. He’s been looking very weak in the chin department in his last 2 fights against Miguel Marriaga and Genesis Servania, and he might not be able to stand up to Quigg’s shots if he chooses to go to war with him. Valdez can by running. We saw that in his last fight against Servania. After getting knocked down and hurt on two occasions in the fight, Valdez got on his bike and boxed and moved for the last 7 rounds of the fight. It was a boring fight to watch after Valdez started moving, but he had no choice. He couldn’t take the power of Servania, so he had to run. Servania is not a big puncher. He shouldn’t have been able to repeatedly hurt Valdez with his shots, but it’s possible that the Mexican fighter’s chin isn’t the same since he was badly staggered in his fight with Marriaga last year in April. That’s why tonight’s fight could be a real problem for Valdez if he tries to stand and slug with the harder punching Quigg.

Valdez doesn’t hit as hard as Quigg, and he obviously isn’t going to be as big as him inside the ring. The 5’8” Quigg will have a 2 1/2” height advantage over the 5’5 ½” Valdez. Quigg is bigger, stronger and has the better chin. The main thing that Valdez has going for him is the boxing fans and the promotion. Valdez’s promoters at Top Rank are the lead promoters for tonight’s fight on ESPN at the StubHub. The crowd will likely be 90% Valdez fans. That could make it very hard for Quigg to win a decision if the fight goes to the scorecards. I don’t think it will though. One of these guys is going to get knocked out tonight. The only way I see this fight going to the scorecards is if Valdez uses movement for most of the fight the way he did against Servania after he was hurt twice by him.

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The Valdez-Quigg fight was in jeopardy earlier today with the camps disagreeing over the extra money Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs) would be getting for his purse due to Quigg in coming in 2.8 pounds over the 126 lb. weigh-in limit last Friday. Quigg (34-1-2, 25 KOs) is losing 20 percent of his purse for coming in over the featherweight limit at Friday’s weigh-in. 10% is supposed to go to Valdez and the other 10% to the California State Commission. Quigg also refused the morning weight check. It’s unclear how much weight Quigg was allowed to gain back overnight after rehydrating. It’s likely that there’s a penalty attacked to the morning weight check as well. If Quigg failed the morning weight check, he could see his purse whittled down even further.

Valdez was supposed to be defending his WBO featherweight title against Quigg at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The title won’t be on the line tonight because of Quigg missing weight. If Valdez loses the fight, then the WBO 126 lb. title will fall vacant. Quigg and Valdez will be fighting on ESPN at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

Valdez, 27, said he still wanted to take the fight with Quigg regardless of him coming in overweight.

”It doesn’t matter what Quigg’s weight is. I will definitely be ready to put on a show,” Valdez said.

It was up to Valdez and his promoters at Top Rank if they wanted to go through with the fight against Quigg or not. They would be shooting themselves in the foot if they didn’t go through with the fight against the 31-year-old Quigg. Valdez hasn’t faced any well-known opposition during his six-year pro career. This is the first fight of Valdez’s career where he’s facing an opponent with talent. If Valdez had said no to the fight with Quigg, he’d have nothing to show for it. He’d be back to fighting the largely obscure contenders in the 126 lb. weight class.

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There are some good fighters in the featherweight division, but unfortunately very few of them are ranked in the top 15 by the World Boxing Organization. Valdez is promoted by Top Rank, and they haven’t done much in terms of matching him against notable fighters since he turned pro. Quigg is a huge step up for Valdez from the guys that Top Rank has been feeding him like Miguel Marriaga, Genesis Servania, Hiroshige Osawa, Ernie Sanchez, Evgeny Gradovich, Matias Carlos Adrian Rueda and Chris Avalos. Those are not great fighters, and Valdez’s career is flying by without him being matched against fighters with talent. That’s why it would have been stupid for Valdez to cancel the fight with Quigg just because he came in over the weight limit.

“The fight is on and we’re looking for a great matchup,” said Top Rank president Todd duBoef via ESPN. “They’re fighting but unfortunately Quigg didn’t make weight. It’s part of the business of combat sports. Oscar wants to take care of his business in the ring tonight and retain his featherweight world title.”

Top Rank needs to hope that Valdez doesn’t lose, because he’s starting to look like he’s not the fighter that they thought he was. The way Valdez has been looking lately, it would be a mistake to throw him in the ring with the more talented fighters in the featherweight division like Leo Santa Cruz and Gary Russell Jr. Forget about Valdez fighting a super featherweight like Miguel Berchelt or Vasyl Lomachenko. Valdez would have no chance against either of those guys in my opinion. Valdez isn’t that kind of a talent. Valdez is/was a banger in the Arturo Gatti mold. We’ll have to see tonight whether Valdez will elect to slug like he’d done most of his career or revert to the running style he used to survive after he was hurt by Servania.

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More of a potential problem than the bickering over Quigg’s weight, there’s a chance of rain tonight and that could spell disaster for the fight. There’s a high possibility that there will be rain.

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