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Oscar Valdez and Jessie Magdaleno defend on Mar.10

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By Chris Williams: WBO World featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs) and WBO World super bantamweight champion Jessie Magdaleno (25-0, 18 KOs) will both be making defenses of their respective titles in their weight classes on March 10, according to ESPN.

The location for the Valdez and Magdaleno card has been narrowed down to these 3 venues:

StubHub Center in Carson, California

• The Forum in Inglewood, California

• Staples Center or even the Microsoft Theater

Valdez, 27, has had 2 very tough fights in a row against Genesis Servania (30-1, 13 KOs) and Miguel Marriaga (25-3, 21 KOs). Valdez was rocked in both of the bouts, and he was forced to dig deep to win them. There are now major questions of whether or not Valdez’s punch resistance is starting to deteriorate.

It was one thing for Valdez to get badly hurt by the bog punching Colombian Marriaga in their fight on April 22 of this year, but it was a real stunner to see Valdez getting dropped in round 4 by the weak-punching Servania on September 22. Valdez hurt on a number of occasions in that fight by Servania. After it became clear that Valdez couldn’t handle the punching power of Servania, he was forced to box him for the final 6 rounds of the fight.

“Everything points to the fact that the first defense of Oscar and also of Jessie will be in the month of March, on the 10th, it is what we have been told and details are missing as the venue and obviously the rivals, but we know that it can be in California where both are happy fighting,” said manager Frank Espinoza to ESPN Deportes.

The opponents for Magdaleno and Valdez have still yet to be decided. It would seem that Valdez needs a soft touch at this point to give his chin a rest, because he’s been hammered in his last 2 fights. It would be a mistake to have Valdez defend against a hard puncher like Scott Quigg or Carl Frampton. But at this point it might not even take a big puncher to give Valdez problems.

Valdez’s chin is looking increasingly fragile. When a non-puncher like Servania is able to drop Valdez and hurt him repeatedly, it suggests that his ability to take head shots might be deteriorating. Magdaleno, 26, is in a much better position with his career. He’s looked good recently in beating these fighters:

• Adeilson Dos Santos

• Nonito Donaire

• Rey Perez

• Vergel Nebran

These are good fighters, to be sure, but there are contenders in the super bantamweight division that Magdaleno might have problems with, like Cesar Juarez, Marlon Tapales, Isaac Dogboe and Diego De La Hoya. It would be good to see Magdaleno’s promoters at Top Rank challenge him by putting him in with one of those live dogs. Those guys can fight and they would definitely give Magdaleno problems for as long as the fights last.

Magdaleno fought only once in 2017 in beating Dos Santos by a 2nd round knockout on April 22. Magdaleno was supposed to defend against his #1 World Boxing Organization 122 lb. contender Cesar Juarez of Mexico in a mandatory defense of his WBO super bantamweight belt. However, Magdaleno suffered a hand injury that kept him from making the defense against Juarez. With the injury now behind him, Magdaleno will face the winner of the January 6 fight between Dogboe and Juarez.

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