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Oscar Valdez to fight on Jan.12 on ESPN

Latest Óscar Valdez ESPN top rank

By Chris Williams: WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) will be fighting against an opponent and site still to be determined on ESPN on January 12, according to Dan Rafael.

This will be the 27-year-old Valdez’s first fight since his war against former WBA super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg earlier this year on March 10. That fight proved to be a costly one for Valdez. Although he beat Quigg by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision, Valdez took some punishing shots to the head and suffered a broken jaw in the fight.

After Valdez takes care of his next fight on January 12, he’s expected to defend against interim World Boxing Organization 126 lb champion Carl Frampton (26-1, 15 KOs). That’ll make for an interesting fight for the fans. Frampton is in action next month against IBF featherweight

Valdez will likely take a lower level opponent in the World Boxing Organization’s top 15. As the WBO 126 lb champion, Valdez will need to take on a contender, but he’s obviously not going to face any of the dangerous contenders in the WBO’s rankings given that it’ll be his first fight back after a jaw injury. Valdez is expected to change his fighting style in his future fights to keep from getting hit as much. He can’t continue to leave himself open to the punishing shots from his opponents if he’s to last much longer as a top level fighter.

Top Rank is going to make sure they select someone beatable for Valdez’s next fight. He’ll have been out of the ring for almost a year when he finally return to action on January 12. Before Valdez’s grueling fight against the big puncher Quigg last March, Valdez had looked impressive in defeating Miguel Marriaga, Hiroshige Osawa, Genesis Servania, Matias Carlos Adrian Rueda and Evgeny Gradovich. But in Valdez’s last three fights against Quigg, Servania and Marriaga, he’s taken a lot of damaging shots that has worn him down. Servania and Marriaga both hurt Valdez with big shots. Although Valdez was never staggered in his last fight against Quigg, he suffered a broken jaw in the 5th, and he was forced to fight with his mouth wide open with blood constantly leaking out for the remainder of the 12 round fight. It was a risky thing for Valdez to fight with the jaw injury, but luckily made it through the fight without getting badly hurt. It’s dangerous for fighters with broken jaws to continue to fight. Valdez boxed Quigg after he suffered the jaw injury, but he still took a lot of hard shots in the remainder of the fight.

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