When 29 year old, Bury, UK native Scott Quigg steps into the ring at the The Stub Hub Center on March 10th and answers the opening bell across from Tucson raised Oscar Valdez, all indications are that he will present Valdez with one of the most challenging bout of his entire boxing career.
At least, it should be.
The key word being, “should,” because the same was said about Guillermo Rigondeaux when he was widely said to have been Vasyl Lomachenko strongest possible test. However, the boxing world is certainly not comparing Valdez to Lomachenko and I dare not do that here. My point is, anything can happen. The gloves have to be laced up and the fight has to be fought. British publications and Las Vegas betting lines have Oscar Valdez as the favorite for this bout. Quigg relishes it.
“What the bookies think doesn’t mean anything at all to me. I’ll be in California to take his title and I’ll prove to everyone that I still have the desire and ability to become a two weight world champion. I want the big fights and want to become a two-weight world champion. That is the aim for this year and hopefully it will be a dream realised against Valdez in March.” ” Quigg told The Bury Times his UK hometown publication.
OUR TALE OF THE TAPE:
On paper, Quigg is the most dangerous fighter Valdez has ever faced professionally. Certainly the most seasoned and primed for a hostile take over of the WBO Featherweight crown. A former world title holder in the bantamweight division, by the time Valdez faces Quigg, the British challenger will be eleven years into his pro career and will have seen everything Valdez looks to do. Quigg has even been in training camp with Valdez. Quigg helped Valdez prepare for Genesis Servania and has mentioned in interviews he knows Valdez’s bad habits and tendencies quite intimately. Add the fact world renowned trainer Freddie Roach has been running his camp in Los Angeles for four weeks now, Quigg will be ready. Nothing Valdez tries to do will be new to the grizzled Englishman.
Over the last year and half, since Valdez captured the WBO featherweight crown, we at AllSportsTucson.com have run down the list of potential opponents for the Nogales born, Barrio Hollywood raised champ. When I came up with the lists of potential contenders for Valdez, I did so keeping in mind what he told me he wants for himself and what avid followers of boxing would want to see to start considering him among the best champions of today. We listed Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Nonito Doniare and other truly daunting mandatory challengers Valdez should face and beat, sooner rather than later, to start having his career be taken more seriously among in the lexicon of great boxers of today.
Scott Quigg has made the list each time.
Quigg’s only loss if his career was a split decision which came to Carl Frampton, another world class boxer and former champion who has made the very top of our list of best potential Valdez opponents. Frampton was named by Bob Arum as the target for Valdez’s next bout when I had a chance to speak with the Top Rank CEO immediately after Valdez’s decision win over Servania in September 2017.
While Quigg has set his camp up with Roach in L.A., Valdez has been in Guadalajara, Mexico going through what he as described has the most intense and rigorous camps of his career with trainer Manny Robles.
Trabajando para defender lo que es mío 👊🏽💥 próximo 10 de marzo #ValdezQuigg Carson, California #CampeónMundial #AndStill #GanaDesdeAdentro @gatorademex @EspinozaBoxing @RingTelmex @trboxing @trboxeo pic.twitter.com/1EQtvwswxi
— Oscar Valdez Fierro (@oscarvaldez56) January 31, 2018
Valdez has said he wants to be remembered among the absolute best of his era. Valdez has told us that he wants to be named in barbershops and fight night gatherings among Julio Cesar Chavez, Roberto Duran, Salvador Sanchez, Oscar De La Hoya and Juan Manuel Marquez. After his bout with Matias Rueda to earn the WBO belt, Oscar Valdez had the highest knock out percentage of any title holder in boxing history. Since then, the bouts have only gotten tougher and it would be safe to say that weaknesses have been exposed. Valdez is no longer fighting his way up and every single round of his career is being analyzed by challengers who have grown up dreaming of the day they would have what Valdez processes.
Forget being the best of his era, most die hard boxing fans haven’t quite yet bought into calling Valdez truly one of the best in his division. The catch 22 for Valdez is going to be that if he wins convincingly over Quigg, fans will say that he still hasn’t faced quality, world class opposition and hold the fact that he is favored over Quigg against him. If he loses to Quigg, fans and many boxing journalists will undoubtedly rehash their, “I told you so’s.”
Make no mistake, although Quigg will be fighting in the United States for the very first time, he is a world class talent. Quigg is bigger, has the reach advantage, is more experienced and has fought some of the UK’s best.
For Valdez, a win over Quigg will be huge with the avid and staunch boxing fans and fight journalists. For casual fans, because many have more than likely not heard of or seen Scott Quigg in action, their arguement and cries of contention of Valdez’s legitimacy as a world champion will persist. For that monkey to come off of his back, Valdez needs to face at least one of the biggest names in the featherweight division and have remarkable showing.
Having expressed in recent interviews that perhaps he could move up in weight soon, saying he’s achieved all might be able to at 126 lbs, knotching a victory on March 10th would perhaps allow him to stay at 126 and open the doors for serious consideration for title unification bouts in the featherweight division.