The RingTv.com’s Mike Coppinger has reported that sources have told his publication that Tucson raised, WBO Featherweight Champion of the world, Oscar Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs), has a date set to fight on March 10th, 2018 at Stub Hub Center in Los Angeles against an opponent yet to be determined, as the main event on an ESPN card.
When AllSportsTucson.com spoke to Valdez and his promoter Bob Arum immediately following his win over Genesis Servania earlier this fall, both had mentioned to us that Carl Frampton was directly in their cross hairs for Valdez’s next title defense. Arum admitted that a fight with Frampton in Tucson would perhaps be unrealistic citing that Frampton would more than likely not prefer to fight in the Old Pueblo.
In recent days, rumors on social media involving a clash between Nonito Donaire and Frampton has picked up a lot of steam and generated a significant buzz in the boxing world. Donaire was rumored to be a highly likely opponent for Valdez for the Top Rank on ESPN event that occurred at the Tucson Arena September 22nd. Donaire addressed the rumors and released a long Facebook post citing his reasons why he would use extreme caution if he were to fight Valdez and ultimately said he wouldn’t get in the ring Valdez any time soon. Donaire has released social media posts today stating that he wants the fight with Frampton badly.
If Valdez were to fight a big name opponent in March, the news of the fight would have been rolled out with both names simultaneously and we’d know immediately who was in the main event bout with Valdez. Many times, when a champion’s fight is schedule prior to finding him/her an opponent, it is done so with the title holder’s sanctioning body’s regulations in mind. An opponent is searched for later. The WBO requires Valdez to fight every nine months at least. A March date would put him close to seven months from his last defense. More than likely, he will be matched up against a mandatory opponent who casual fans have likely never heard of. Again.
There are plenty of mandatory challengers on the horizon for Valdez that pose a serious threat. We will feature those fighters in write-ups to come.
A Valdez-Frampton bout is still a very strong possibility in 2018. However, Valdez making another appearance in Tucson in the coming year, is not.
An official announcement from Top Rank regarding Valdez’s March 10th bout has not been made as of this write-ups publication.
Opinion: Fighters seem to be ducking Valdez. Speaking to him one-on-one in the past, Valdez eluded to it being the case when he has approached big name fighters for major clashes. I don’t see why they would want to avoid him. In Valdez’s last couple of fights, he’s shown some weaknesses and may have been exposed to a certain extent. If I were a fighter with a significant name or a former world champion looking to get back on top of the featherweight division, I’d be licking my chops to fight Valdez. Listening to some of the weight class’s major contenders speak on Valdez, the general consensus seems to be that among the featherweights with title belts, Valdez’s belt is most ripe for the taking. But when presented with a chance to set a date with Valdez, we never see other title holders (politics with promotion companies) or major contenders actually step up. Instead, Valdez is put to fight mandatories. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few mandatory challengers out there that pose a huge threat to Valdez’s reign. I’ll cover more of them in other write-ups soon.
Within a couple of hours of Coppinger’s report of Valdez’s next title defense, Valdez took to Twitter to announce that the grandfather of the family, José Manuel Valdez, passed away. All of us at AllSportsTucson.com would like to extend our sympathies and condolences the Valdez Family and to Valdez’s team as they go through this hard time.
La familia Valdez esta de luto, por el sensible fallecimiento de nuestro abuelo abuelo José Manuel Valdez, Dios lo reciba en su Santa Gloria.