Red-hot Oscar Valdez to make second WBO featherweight title defense on April 22
When unbeaten Oscar Valdez heads into the ring this weekend, he will once again look to show why he is one of the most exciting boxers working today.
The WBO world featherweight titleholder Valdez, 21-0 (19), will defend his belt against mandatory challenger Miguel Marriaga on April 22 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
The card will also feature unbeaten Gilberto Ramirez, who will defend his WBO super middleweight title against Maxsym Bursak of Ukraine. And unbeaten Jessie Magdaleno will make the first defense of his WBO junior featherweight title against Adeilson dos Santos of Brazil.
United States Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson, who recently signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, will also make his long-awaited pro debut.
Valdez comes in to the fight fresh off the first defense of his world title belt, back on Nov. 5, when he stopped Hiroshige Osawa in the seventh round in Las Vegas.
The Nogales, Mexico resident has stopped his last five opponents, displaying excellent power to go along with his outstanding boxing skills, honed through an impressive amateur career, that he brought with him, upon turning pro back in 2012.
WBO NABO champion and No. 1 contender Marriaga, 25-1 (21), of Arjona, Colombia, became the mandatory challenger to face Valdez when he stopped Guy Robb in six rounds in Fallon, Nevada last August. Since suffering his lone loss as a pro when he was defeated by then-WBA world featherweight titleholder Nicholas Walters in June of 2015, Marriaga has won his last five bouts.
Valdez, who trains in California, shot into the champions’ circle in On July 23, 2016, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena when he fought undefeated Argentine boxer Matias Rueda. Just two days before the bout, it was announced the fight would be for the WBO world featherweight title after current pound-for-pounder Vasyl Lomachenko decided to stay at super featherweight, where he won his second professional world title. Valdez claimed his first world title picking up the WBO championship with a second round drilling of Rueda, dropping him twice with body shots.
With that championship win and his first title defense back in November, Valdez is fast becoming one of the hottest champions in boxing and hopes to see himself in some high-profile, marquee match ups down the line.
In recent interviews, a humble and always focused Valdez expressed interest in facing the very best. And he is not worried about protecting his unbeaten record; he is looking to build a legacy.
“I have a lot of faith in myself. There are a lot of tough fighters in my division,” said Valdez. “I just have a tough division. I always hear comments from the legends. They say, ‘This fighter ducks this fighter; this guy ducks this guy.’ They seem a little disappointed in this era but I’m not afraid to lose my winning record to fight the best. I want to prove I am the best. I’m always a fighter that sees my fights and tries to do better than my last fight. What’s most important is to win. As long as I win, I’m happy but I also want to leave the crowd happy. Looking at Marriaga’s style and my style, I think it’s going to be a good fight.”