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Oscar Valdez’s broken jaw wired shut

Image: Oscar Valdez’s broken jaw wired shut

By Jeff Aranow: WBO World featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) had his broken jaw wired shut following his 12 round unanimous decision victory last Saturday night over Scott Quigg (34-2-2, 25 KOs) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

The 27-year-old Valdez won’t need surgery on his broken jaw, but he’s going to be out of commission for some time with his injury. Valdez had his jaw wired shut on Monday, according to ESPN. His jaw will stay wired for the next 5 to 6 weeks.

It’s possible that Valdez will be on the shelf for the remainder of 2018. Having his jaw wired for close to two months will eat up a lot of time. It would pointless to schedule a fight for Valdez while he’s still slowly recovering from the jaw injury. Quigg suffered a broken jaw in his 12 round split decision loss to Carl Frampton in February 2016. When he did come back, it was 10 months later against Jose Cayetano. If Valdez follows the same timeline, we might not see him back inside the ring until January 2019. That should give Valdez enough time to come back from the jaw injury.

Hopefully Valdez doesn’t lose too much weight from having his jaw wired shut. Some fighters take a long time coming back from a broken jaw. When they do come back, they’re not as effective as they were previously. It sometimes takes a while for a fighter to get his confidence back after they suffer a jaw injury.

When Valdez will be able to fight again is unknown. He’s going to have to take some time off. When Valdez does return to the ring, Top Rank will need be careful in who they match him against. They don’t need Valdez to get ground up quickly. Valdez’s last three fights have been very difficult ones for him against Quigg, Genesis Servania and Miguel Marriaga. The fight against Servania wasn’t supposed to be a hard fight for Valdez, but it turned out to be difficult nonetheless. Servania dropped Valdez in the 4th and gave him headaches each time he would stop moving.

Valdez got the 12 round decision by the scores 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111. The Top Rank promoted Valdez-Quigg fight was televised on ESPN. Valdez likely won some boxing fans with his gutty performance, but it came at a high cost. This was not one of the easy mismatches that we’d seen from Valdez in his first 21 fights. Valdez was getting hammered by Quigg each time he would stop moving for any length of time. Quigg was loading up on his shots and hitting Valdez hard. Even when Valdez was on the run, Quigg still was hitting him with massive shots. That’s why Valdez chose not to stop for any length of time.

The Top Rank promoted Valdez suffered his jaw injury after getting his with a scorching left hook followed by a blistering right hand from Quigg in the 5th round. Both shots whiplashed Valdez’s head from one side to the other. Those two shots were easily the hardest punches of the fight. Quigg is a bigger puncher than Valdez, and he was lucky he wasn’t knocked unconscious from the shots.

Valdez was smart, and he got on his bike and moved for the remainder of the fight to limit the opportunities that Quigg had to land more of his bombs. The blood was constantly leaking from Valdez’s partially opened mouth for the last 7 rounds of the contest. Valdez was clever in using his boxing skills to keep from getting hit with some of Quigg’s homerun shots in the last half of the fight, but he was still getting nailed with big punches from time to time.

Quigg, 29, didn’t come of the fight unscathed, as he suffered a broken nose, cut over his left eye and swelling on his forehead. Quigg kind of resembled a lion after the fight. You can’t say either guy looked better than the other. Valdez face was swollen, and mouth was a mess with blood coming out of it. You’ve got to give Valdez credit for making it out of the contest without it being stopped, as he fought with the broken jaw for the last 7 rounds.

“Oscar just needs to rest,” Valdez’s manager Frank Espinoza said to “He has a follow-up appointment on Friday. I’m very proud of Oscar. He showed a lot of grit. He went seven rounds with a broken jaw. He’s got a big heart. I’ve always said he had that warrior spirit and he showed it against Quigg. There’s no quit in Oscar.”

The 2-time Olympian Valdez was successful in making his fourth defense of his World Boxing Organization 126 lb. title in his toughest fight to date. Valdez had a tough time being Miguel Marriaga last year in April, but nothing like this. Marriaga shook Valdez up a couple of times with big right hands late in the contest. Valdez didn’t emerge from the fight with a jaw injury or any major injuries.

The only thing you can say that Valdez left the fight with Marriaga with was perhaps diminished punch resistance, as he’s not looked solid since then in taking heavy shots in his last two fights. Before Valdez fought Marriaga, he would stand and trade with his opponents and look to knock them out. But in his last two fights against Quigg and Servania, Valdez moved quite a big in the second half of those contests.

Valdez’s promoter Top Rank vice president Todd duBoef believes he came out of the fight with more boxing fans. He sees it as fight that won the 27-year-old aldez more fans. That may be, but we’ll have to see. It’s not good that Valdez wasn’t able to knockout Quigg. It’s also not good that he was on his bike moving a lot in the last half of the contest. There’s a certain way that fighters need to fight to impress the boxing fans, and that’s to come forward and slug nonstop. That’s how Manny Pacquiao fought during his beat years, and how middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin has fought. Those guys build their fan bases the hard way by going to war in their fights and never running. Valdez didn’t fight like Golovkin and Pacquiao after he was hurt in the 5th. Valdez kind of played it safe.

Much was made about Quigg missing weight by 2.8 lbs. last Friday. He didn’t have his weight checked in the secondary weigh-in the morning of the fight. The limit for that weigh-in was 136 lbs. Quigg chose not to have his weight checked. Valdez’s management wanted him not to take the fight with Quigg after he missed weight and failed to be weighed in the morning of the fight. Valdez went ahead and took the fight anyway. Quigg lost a portion of his purse in weight penalties.

Quigg said he had taken off as much weight as he could, and he wasn’t able to lose any additional weight. If he had drained himself to the point where he could make the 136 lb. secondary weigh-in limit, then he likely would have been badly weakened for the fight. He would have given a bad showing, and perhaps hurt his career. By refusing to be weighed in the second day, Quigg was strong enough to give Valdez a real war for as long as it lasted.

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