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Oscar Valdez to fight on January 12 on ESPN

Carl Frampton

By Jeff Aranow: WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) will be returning to the ring on January 12 for a tune-up fight on ESPN against an opponent still to be determined, according to Dan Rafael.

If Valdez, 27, is victorious, he’ll be facing the winner of the Carl Frampton vs. Josh Warrington fight, which will be taking place on December 22.

Valdez suffered a broken jaw in his last fight against Scott Quigg on March 10. Although Valdez won the bout by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision, he suffered the jaw injuty and he’s been sidelined ever since then.Valdez has been given permission to return to training.

“We’re looking at January 12 for [Valdez] to fight on ESPN, and then, assuming he wins that fight, then we would put him in with Frampton-Warrington winner. I’ve already talked to Frank Warren about that,” Arum said.

Arum is confident that he’ll be able to put a deal together to match Valdez against the winner of the Frampton vs. Warrington fight.
Valdez needs to make sure he gets though his January 12 fight without taking additional punishment, because he would be in bad shape to face the winner of the Warrington vs. Frampton fight.

Valdez looked bad after his fight with Quigg last March. His face looked beaten up, and he had blood dripping out of his mouth. Valdez had recently worked on his defense to make himself harder to hit, and he showed a lot of improvements in that fight from his previous bouts against Genesis Servania and Miguel Marriaga. Valdez was hurt in both of those fights. Still, even with the improvements, Valdez was hurt against Quigg and took a massive amount of head shots. Valdez can’t afford to be involved in many more wars like that if he wants his career to last much longer.

We probably won’t be able to see whether there’s any lingering effects from Valdez’s grueling fight with Quigg when he fights on January 12, as that’s expected to be a tune-up level contest. Valdez’s jaw and punch resistance won’t get tested in a real way until he faces the winner of the Warrington vs. Frampton fight. Warrington isn;t a puncher, so Valdez won’t have too many problems taking his shots if he’s the guy that emerges victorious in the Frampton-Warrington fight. The way that Valdez is looking right now, there’s no one in the division that can beat him. WBC champion Gary Russell Jr. and WBA belt holder Leo Santa Cruz will be tough outs for Valdez though.

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