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Oscar Valdez stops Evgeny Gradovich

LatestBy Dan Ambrose: Former IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich’s struggles continue, as he was halted in the 4th round on Saturday night by unbeaten Olympian featherweight Oscar Valdez (19-0, 17 KOs) on HBO PPV on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley at at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Valdez, 25, dropped the 29-year-old Gradovich in the 4th round with a left hook to the head. The referee then stepped in and halted the fight at 2:14 of the round. Gradovich was hurt, and the right side of his jaw was badly swollen, as if there was some potential injury there. You can argue that the fight should have been halted in the 3rd round because of the one-sided nature of the contest. With this win, Valdez captured the vacant WBO NABO featherweight title.

Valdez looks to be a very good fighter. He might be able to slide in and scoop up the WBO featherweight title if the current champion Vasyl Lomachenko moves up in weight. If he stays at featherweight, then that would be a very good fighter between the two fighters. I would still favor Lomachenko. Valdez is a good fighter, but he’s not at the level of Lomachenko. There’s a definite difference in talent between these two fighters.

Gradovich has now lost two out of his last four fights. He was beaten by Lee Selby last year by an 8th round knockout. However, you can argue that Gradovich has lost his last four fights now, as his wins over Aldimar Silva Santos and Jesus Galicia were controversial victories that many boxing fans thought Gradovich should have lost. He hasn’t looked like the same fighter since his 12 round draw against the hard hitting Jayson Velez in November 2014. I thought Gradovich deserved the victory in that fight, but he still took a lot of punishment.


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