Oscar Valdez vs. Hiroshige Osawa – Results
By Eric Baldwin: WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (21-0, 19 KOs) won an easy 7th round knockout victory against his #1 WBO mandatory challenger Hiroshige Osawa (30-4. 19 KOs) on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 25-year-old Valdez hurt Osawa with a left hook to the head that sent him retreating to the ropes. Earlier in the fight, Valdez knocked Osawa down with a left hook to the head in the 4th round.
Valdez then chased after him and unloaded on him with a flurry of punches that resulted in referee Vic Drakulitch stepping in and halted the fight with the bleeding 31-year-old Osawa still standing, but looking hurt.
Osawa took a great deal of punishment in the fight, especially in the 4th when he was knocked down by a scorching left hook from Valdez. After he got back up from that knockdown, Osawa was met by a flurry of power shots. Osawa was then trapped on the ropes by Valdez, who unloaded a blizzard of punches in trying to get a knockout. However, many of the shots missed their mark and the referee Vic Drakulitch wasn’t going to stop the fight at that time. Three rounds later, Valdez was able to get the stoppage after trapping Osawa against the ropes in the 7th.
Valdez threw a lot of hooks to the head and body of Osawa in rounds one through four. It was surprising that the Japanese fighter was able to take the heavy blows. Perhaps one of the reasons Osawa was able to take the shots was because Valdez wasn’t varying the power on his shots. He was loading up with every punch, and Osawa was able to brace for the impact. The smart fighters like middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin changes the power on his shots by throwing with medium power for a while and then mixing it up with an occasional shot thrown with everything he has. Valdez didn’t do that tonight. Everything he threw had the same amount of power on it, and there was no element of surprise.
If Valdez wants to beat the better fighters like Vasyl Lomachenko and Nicholas Walters, then he’s going to need improve his boxing skills and vary his attacks a little more. Valdez is too predictable, and he’s not as big of a puncher as Walters. Lomachenko already beat Valdez in the amateur ranks. A rematch between them in the pro ranks would likely see Lomachenko win again. He’s a better fighter.
“It was a very tough fight, probably the toughest opponent I face so far in my career,” Valdez said via espn.com. “Osawa took some big shots and I needed to take my time and not get careless. I know it was a good win, but I still have a lot learn. I am going to get better. I am happy to give Mexico another great win with my title defense.”
Landing left hooks and right hands worked for Valdez in this fight, because he didn’t have to worry about getting hit back. Osawa had no power, and he was not ambitious in the fight.