ESPN results: Oscar Valdez batters Scott Quigg en route to a decision win
In a courageous performance, Oscar Valdez retained his WBO featherweight title after earning a unanimous decision over Scott Quigg on Saturday night. The fight was the main event of a Top Rank card televised on ESPN, live from the StubHub Center, in Carson, California.
“The epitome of an Aztec warrior,” trainer Manny Robles told the media in the post-fight presser, just after Valdez had to be sent to the hospital with a broken jaw.
Valdez, Nogales, Mexico, knew what he was getting into but went forward with it anyway, after Quigg showed up to the weigh-in more than two pounds over and without any shot at winning the title he came to the United States for. Reportedly Quigg came into the fight at 142.2 pounds and with Valdez at around 135, the difference was glaring.
Right away, Valdez, 24-0 (19), landed his signature left hook wherever he pleased but Valdez focused on Quigg’s body early on. The shots couldn’t have been landed cleaner but it was soon apparent that they weren’t strong enough to keep Quigg from coming forward. Quigg, who once held the WBA junior featherweight title, was taking the punches rather easily, considering how many Valdez was able to land, many on the same spot on the body. In the fourth round, Quigg was starting to find success with his right cross and, in the fifth, had his best round, highlighted by a big right hand to the chin that clearly hurt Valdez.
Robles said that’s where he thought Valdez’s jaw was broken, trying to describe how his charge’s bottom teeth were separating and that Valdez didn’t bother trying to take out his mouthpiece between rounds late in the fight.
Quigg, 34-2-2 (25), started to gain confidence after a slow start but also inspired a higher volumed work rate from Valdez in the sixth. Valdez seemed content giving Quigg the middle of the ring for the fight’s entireity and, with his back facing the ropes, used his feet well to force Quigg to miss more often than he landed. Valdez really started to pepper Quigg with right hands to the nose, as the fight approached the championship rounds, leaving him with a cut on his left eye and the bridge of his nose about five times larger than it should’ve been. Still, Quigg had the ability and heart to come forward for the remainder of the fight, forcing Valdez to deliver yet another fun action fight on his resume.
Valdez earned of 117-111 twice and 119-110 in the decision and even took part in the post-fight interview, without anyone having knowledge of his broken jaw. Perhaps another ode to Valdez’s warrior spirit but, after being whisked away and unable to tell the media how he experienced it, there was a veiled reminder that he’s human too.
In the ESPN co-feature, Andy Vences, 20-0-1 (12), and Erick De Leon, 17-0-1 (10), somewhat settled their rivalry with a competitive 10-round junior lightweight contest that ended in a majority draw (95-95 twice, 96-94 De Leon).
Arnold Barboza Jr., 18-0 (6), earned a 10-round unanimous decision over Mike Reed, 23-1 (12), in a junior welterweight bout, with scores of 97-93 twice, and 96-94.
Junior welterweight Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo, 27-0 (17), had to walk through hell to get there but, with a tremendous body shot to the liver in the seventh round, he stopped Abner Lopez, 25-9 (21), to abbreviate what seemed to be a very close action fight.
Coming off a 15-month layoff, Andy Ruiz Jr., 30-1 (20), took less than two minutes to drop Devin Vargas, 20-5 (8), and force him to take the count in the first round for a knockout victory. The heavyweight contest was scheduled for eight rounds.
In a bout scheduled for 10, Brazilian middleweight Esquiva Falcao, 20-0 (14), easily blew out Salim Larbi, 20-9-2 (7), within the first round, knocking him down once before working the body and finalizing the win with a lead right hook from the southpaw stance.
With the first clean right hand she landed, Mikaela Mayer, 4-0 (3), hurt Maria Semertzoglou, 7-4 (2), badly enough to force a referee stoppage in the first round. The lightweight contest was scheduled for six.
In the opening bout of the Top Rank card, Bryan Lua, 4-0 (1), earned his first professional knockout win after paralyzing Jesus Arevalo, 2-3, with a perfect left hand to the chin. The junior lightweight contest was scheduled for four.
In the evening’s walkout bout, Maxim Dadashev, 10-0 (9), stopped Abdiel Ramirez, 23-3-1 (21), on his feet in the fifth round of a junior welterweight contest scheduled for eight rounds.