Quigg ready to rip Valdez’s WBO title from him on Mar.10
By Chris Williams: Scott Quigg is prepared to end Oscar Valdez’s title run as the WBO World featherweight champion on March 10 in their fight on ESPN at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Valdez’s promoters at Top Rank made the news announcement for the Valdez-Quigg fight on Tuesday.
It’s Valdez’s biggest fight of his career by far, and the first in which the outcome isn’t already assured. Valdez’s previous 23 fights were ones in which he was a heavy favorite to win. Against the 29-year-old former WBA World super bantamweight champion Quigg (34-1-2, 25 KOs), Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs) isn’t viewed as a rock solid favorite to win.
There’s doubt and a lot of uncertainty about this fight. It’s not just because Valdez looked HORRIBLE in his last 2 fights against Genesis Servania and Miguel Marriaga. It’s because Quigg is a good fighter with punching power superior that of Valdez, and with a lot of experience and talent to go along with that power.
Quigg has already been training 1 month for the Valdez fight with his trainer Freddie Roach at his Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles, California. Roach is quiet about the game plan that he’ll have for Quigg to beat Valdez, but it’s very probable that it’ll entail a lot of pressure. Valdez’s punch resistance has looked weak, and his ability to handle pressure seems to be limited at this point.
”I’ve been in training for four weeks already and now I’ve just linked up with Freddie Roach to begin the last eight weeks of camp,” said Quigg to ESPN.com. This is a great opportunity for me — making my U.S. debut on a great platform on ESPN — and I’m confident on March 10 I’ll become world champion again.”
Quigg will need to make sure he takes the judges out of play for this fight, because he’s the visiting fighter. He’s coming from England to face Valdez on a Top Rank card on ESPN. That puts the pressure on Quigg to make sure that he beats Valdez in a clear enough manner that he can’t have the win taken away from him by the judges. This is not just any fighter that Quigg is facing. Valdez is seen as one of Top Rank’s future stars in their stable. Top Rank boss Bob Arum wants to make a big name out of the 27-year-old Valdez, who competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics for Mexico. Arum looked like he would achieve his goal of making Valdez a star until recently when he struggled to defeat Miguel Marriaga and Genesis Servania by 12 round decisions. Valdez won the fights, but he was hurt in both of them. Getting hurt by marginal opposition like that is a sign that Valdez is not going to be able to go much further before he starts losing.
Quigg might be the guy that ends Valdez’s short reign as the champion. Arum appears to have bit off more than he can chew by matching Valdez against Quigg. We’ll have to see if Valdez cans somehow tough it out to win a decision. Hopefully there isn’t controversial scoring by the judges, because that would make Valdez look bad if he wins in that manner.
“Oscar Valdez has passed every in-ring test with flying colors, but the biggest test of his professional career will take place on March 10 against Scott Quigg, who like Oscar, rarely leaves a fight in the hands of the judges,” said Valdez’s promoter Bob Arum to ESPN.com.
I wouldn’t say that Valdez has passed every test with flying colors as a pro. I think Arum is wrong there. Valdez did not pass his tests against Marriaga and Servania with flying colors. I would give Valdez a D-grade in both of those fights. Yeah, Valdez got the win, but he looked terrible against both of them, and he probably should be giving those guys rematches rather than moving on to a title defense against Quigg. It good news that Quigg is getting the title shot against Valdez, but it’s bad that Marriaga and Servania aren’t getting a second shot at fighting him so they can avenge their losses.
Quigg comes into the fight with Valdez with a 3-fight winning streak since losing to Carl Frampton by a 2 round split decision in early 2016. Quigg wanted a rematch with Frampton, but he failed to get one. Frampton moved up to featherweight, so Quigg followed him up to 126, and he’s hoping to get a second fight with him if possible at some point. Whether Quigg ever does get a rematch with Frampton will depend largely on his success against Valdez. If Quigg beats Valdez, then it will increase his chances of one day getting a rematch with Frampton. Quigg looked good in his last bout in beating Ukrainian Oleg Yefimovych by a 6th round knockout on November 4th last year in Monte Carlo.
Valdez vs. Quigg will be taking place in less than 2 months from now on March 10 on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. The televised portion of the Valdez-Quigg card will start at 10:30 p.m. ET. There’s the potential of a lot of eyeballs to see the Valdez-Quigg card, as it will be televised after college basketball on ESPN. Some of those viewers might choose to hang around to watch the Valdez vs. Quigg card. However, what might cause the fans to trickle away is the undercard fights. There’s nothing really interesting in terms of fights on Valdez and Quigg card. It’s too bad Top Rank doesn’t have Valdez’s fight with Quigg start off the televised card on ESPN on March 10, because the basketball viewers wouldn’t have time to trickle away. I think there’s a good chance that most of the basketball fans will give up on the Top Rank boxing card due to the undercard fights being so poor.
Here is the undercard fights:
• Andy Vences vs. Erick De Leon
• Mike Reed vs. Arnold Barboza Jr.
• Equiva Falcoa vs. Salim Lardbi
• Alex Saucedo vs. TBA
• Mikaela Mayer vs. TBA
Unfortunately, there’s nothing on the undercard that will help keep the casual boxing fans watching the card until the Valdez vs. Quigg fight gets underway. Arum should have loaded up the undercard with his best Top Rank fighters if he wanted to make sure that the fans would stay around long enough to watch the main event between Quigg and Valdez.