Oscar Valdez and knockdowns often come hand-in-hand. The all-action Mexican has brawled and bustled his way through four world title triumphs, but now meets the most worthy of his 24 opponents to date.
The former Super Bantamweight ruler, Scott Quigg, makes his move across the Atlantic to meet a man that Quigg will feel holds some resemblance to his younger self.
At 29-years old, it is hard to think that some may consider this a last chance for Quigg. His only defeat came by the closest of margins against long-time nemesis Carl Frampton. But nonetheless, Quigg 34-1-2(25KO’s) has been brought in here to allow for Valdez to make a huge statement on the world scene.
One would like to think that Valdez’s aggression will be tamed for the most part in this contest. His last two fighters have gone the distance, but Valdez has not made them easy rides for himself as well as his opponent.
Valdez 23-0(19KO’s) overwhelms his opponents, and does carry power in either hand. But he squares up often, leaves himself open, and as Genesis Servania demonstrated, he can be caught.
Valdez is likely to light up the division in exciting bouts for years to come, and his first taste of fight of the year material may start on Saturday night. Quigg, never one to shy away from fire, will likely engage Valdez often in the WBO Featherweight clash. And while this will be of benefit to the audience, it will not be to a visiting challenger who in his 37-fight career has gained enough experience to outbox his less accomplished foe.
Quigg will no doubt have every intention to outbox the Mexican at the StubHub Center, but in his first appearance in the States, it will be hard for the Bury man to resist exchanging. Keeping the kind of discipline required for 12 rounds will be far harder than it seems, and that is why for many, Valdez is favoured to come away victorious.
Valdez may have a heavy knockout percentage, but he does not disguise his punches well enough to take out a fighter of Quigg’s stature. The challenger may be rocked however when the two warriors come to a head.
The pick is for Valdez to head out the blocks fast, looking to establish the centre ring against a well-drilled boxer. The longer Valdez holds centre, the better his chances are looking at holding on to his world championship.
Valdez will be forced to show off his own boxing ability in the opening 4 rounds, while Quigg looks to steal rounds as he looks to catch the eyes of the judges with flurries late in the rounds. Just out of range, Valdez will struggle to counter these late attacks in the early going, giving the challenger the advantage at the halfway stage.
But the champion will begin to impose his will more through the middle stanza, and here Quigg will be forced into a decision, to stick to his guns on the outside and be potentially overrun and outworked, or look to be an aggressive counterpuncher, firing back against an opponent that could be caught square on.
The pace will not drop as the fight enters the championship rounds, Valdez now taking the approach of walking Quigg on to his fast hands. Valdez can summon up his moments in the latter stages, but on the front foot, Quigg will feel he has relieved the champion of his belt after 12 rounds of action.