Oscar Valdez

**UPDATE: QUIGG MISSES WEIGHT!** Freddie Roach to Oscar Valdez: “I’ve got the better fighter and we’re going to kick your a**.”

UPDATE: According to Norm Frauenheim of The Ring and 15 Rounds, Scott Quigg misses the weight by over 2 lbs. Will weigh in again on Saturday morning. Quigg will be ineligible to win the title, no matter the outcome tomorrow night.

Oscar Valdez came in at 125.8.

Oscar Valdez (23-0, 19KOs) fans and critics would be hard pressed to find anyone, perhaps the world over, who has covered the WBO featherweight title holder’s career more extensively than AllSportsTucson.com. Over the last two years, every punch has been counted. Every block and parry, knockout and ring walk, every possible opponent and mandatory challenger has been broken down and analyzed time and time again while reviewing round after round on film.

On the eve of Valdez’s fourth title defense, we have reviewed and studied Scott Quigg‘s (34-1-2, 25KOs) last 8 fights and also reviewed Valdez’s last 10 fights. There really is nothing left for us to report that we have not previously stated with regard to the Tucson/Nogales champion.

The time to sign the handwraps, lace up the gloves, make the ring walks, check mouthpieces and answer the opening bell is here. All the breakdown, analysis, talking and pressers are done. Nothing is left other than to scrap.

Valdez is getting into the ring tomorrow night at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA (live on ESPN, 10:30PM ET/7:30PM PT) to face the most dangerous fighter of his professional career in Quigg. On the surface, Quigg has all the tools he needs to walk out of StubHub with a belt around his waist.

OUR KEYS TO THE BOUT:

Scott Quigg

– The bright lights and big stage are nothing new for 29 year old native of Bury, Lancashire, UK. Quigg has a 5 year experience advantage in the paid ranks and is a former world champion who will have already seen everything Valdez will try to accomplish inside the StubHub ring. The only loss on Quigg’s record is a narrow split decision to Carl Frampton. Quigg has the added benefit of having world class, Boxing Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach running his third camp in LA for months now. StubHub is not going to feel as much like “road-trip” bout as it would have been if he had been training in the UK all this time.
-In our review of his most recent bouts, he’s kept the fight in the middle of the ring, shown discipline and puts together strings of combinations that simply overwhelmed opponents and rarely gave them a chance to counter. When opponents tried countering, Quigg’s discipline and athletism was able to exploit openings opponents exposed while sitting on punches trying to counter Quigg’s onslaught.

– Quigg MUST avoid Valdez’s left hand body shots. Valdez has sent many previous opponents to the hospital after they’ve taken a liver shot from his left hook to the body. It’s the punch that won Valdez his title. Quigg needs to respect Valdez’s power and as counter intuitive as it may seem, perhaps bring the fight in close to avoid Valdez gaging a good distance for that vicious left.

Photo via Top Rank Boxing Twitter

Remain disciplined. This will only be the second time Oscar Valdez will be facing an opponent with true world class training and will have a dramatic disadvantage when it comes to experience. Valdez has shown a tendency to fight with emotion and play to the crowd. Valdez has seemed to want to please the crowd when they are behind him in his most recent fights. Quigg can use this to his advantage. While fighting emotionally and trying to give fight fans their money’s worth, Valdez has been infamous for dropping his guard and for his defense to simply vanish. They are bad habits that have had world class opponents, like Quigg, licking their chops to face Valdez.
Be efficient. When fighters try to bang with Valdez, punchstats show that their efficiency plummets and Valdez mauls them. If the KO comes, fine. For Quigg, however, it would be more prudent to out-box, be accurate and out-score Valdez who has shown some weaknesses since capturing the title when boxing rather than brawling.

Oscar Valdez

– In Valdez’s most recent fights, he has shown a tendency to “go rouge.” His trainer Manny Robles, a world class trainer in his own right, eluded to this when we spoke to him immediately after Valdez’s win over Genesis Servania. In the past, Valdez has seemed to throw the game plan out the window and want to simply go toe-to-toe with opponents when haymakers are traded and the crowd gets behind him. Such emotion and recklessness resulted in Valdez suffering a true knockdown against Servania in September 2017 and could most certainly cost him his title against Quigg. Robles expressed frustration when AllSportTucson.com asked about Valdez’s inability to finish Servania after scoring a knockdown.

Photo via Top Rank Boxing Twitter

“He’s gotta listen! (Valdez) lets his emotions get in the way of things and he can make things a lot easier on himself. Fighting at home in front of his home crowd really got to him and he really wanted to put on a show. He likes to bang. He’s a crowd pleaser. But knockouts are not always going to be there. When he dropped Servania, we tried to get his attention in the corner, but no. He was on a mission to get this guy out and it didn’t happen. Knockout don’t always come when you look for them. You have to let them come to you.” -Valdez’s trainer Manny Robles (9/23/17)

– For Valdez to prove to the world that his name deserves to be mentioned among the great fighters of his era, he needs to show a tremendous leap in discipline tomorrow night. Sticking to the gameplan and listening to his corner is the very first thing Valdez will need to rectify. If Valdez can simply do that, it would be hard to think of anyone in the featherweight division that can stop him.
– When Valdez wings it and starts trying to simply look for KOs and fight with what looks like wreckless abandon, his guard drops. Valdez is infamous for having his gloves below his belly button when trying to trade haymakers with opponents. It was Servania’s straight right to the chin which caught Valdez while trying to slip away against the ropes, gloves below his waist, that knocked him down and had Top Rank personnel sitting with us ringside looking at each other with faces of shock and panic. Valdez’s guard has to be up all night to survive Quiggs accuracy and power.
– Quigg fought with a broken jaw against Frampton and was able to survive 12 rounds before losing a split decision by a narrow margin. A testament to his chin, toughness and heart. Valdez will most likely not be able to score a knockout against Quigg simply by landing one massive blow. Valdez will have to out-box Quigg and wear him down over time in order to hurt Quigg enough to get a stoppage. It would be a monumental accomplishment and would put the boxing world on notice if Valdez could pull that off. Valdez’s surest road to victory might be to out-score Quigg. Out-boxing him and win using a round-by-round approach. Leaving a decision in the hands of judges is a scary thought these days in the world of boxing. Valdez would have to outclass Quigg and leave no doubt in the minds of everyone watching.

– One final thing that will be interesting to see regarding Valdez, is how the seven weeks of high altitude training in Guadalajara, Mexico serves him. His conditioning will play a major factor in being able to sustain high volume punching and out score Quigg in later rounds if it comes to that. Boxing experts like Roach have said criticized Valdez for fading in later rounds and getting sloppy as a result. Roach has said they are counting on tomorrow night.
– There has been a notable uptick in the focus and intensity from Valdez and his camp leading up to this fight. Quigg has been quoted as saying that he believes Valdez took Servania lightly. Quigg has spent time sparring with Valdez in the past and both fighters are familiar with each other. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Valdez camp went away from their usual training regimen, literally lived in the gym they trained in and trained at altitude.

Notes and Quotes from Valdez and Robles leading up to fight week:

Valdez on training in Mexico for seven weeks – “Training camp has been going great. Every training camp I’ve had I would say has been great. But this camp in particular, being in the high altitude of Guadalajara and literally living in the gym to put in extra hours, got to bond more with my trainers, studied the opponent, studied the game plan. I can honestly say THIS was my best training camp. There will be no excuses. You guys are going to see a better Oscar Valdez.

Valdez on what fans can expect from him tomorrow night – “I would never promise a knockout. I will never promise a fight of the year. But I will promise giving my best inside of the ring and to fight with all my heart.”

Valdez on Scott Quigg- “He’s a tough fighter. We’ve been calling out big names. Now that I got the opportunity to fight a guy like Scott Quigg, I’m going to take advantage of it. I think our styles are a perfect combination to bring fireworks, March 10th.”

Manny Robles on training Valdez in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mex – “One reason was the high altitude. Other reasons being, we just neede to get away as a team. A change of scenery from Legends Gym and for a bit of privacy. To hone in on a game plan and inspire another level of focus in the team. Finding ourselves as a team. Rafael Espinoza lent his facilities. Oscar had his own personal chef. We actually lived there and trained in the very facility for seven weeks.”

Manny Robles on the quality of Valdez’s opponents – “Oscar always fights the best. Despite what people may think. Miguel Marriaga was the number one contender in the world. Genesis Servania was a top five contender in the world. Now Scott Quigg. He’s fought top caliber opponents. Scott Quigg not being the exception. Tough fighter. Former world champ. We’re going to have our hands full but Oscar is ready for the challenge.”

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