Valdez on a mission to reach world title potential

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Oscar ValdezTwo-time Olympian Oscar Valdez put the final touches on camp Friday with a sparring session against IBF World featherweight champion Lee Selby ahead of his Sept. 11 fight against Chris Avalos at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

The fight should be a popular one as it serves as a pre-evening appetizer to Floyd Mayweather’s defence of his WBC and WBA welterweight titles on Sept. 12 as he takes on Andre Berto at MGM Grand is what is supposed to be the final fight of his career.

This fight will be telecast on truTV as part of truTV and Top Rank’s partnership to exclusively present MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout, a live Friday night primetime boxing series.

Valdez is grateful and ready to take advantage of the opportunity.

“I am very happy about this opportunity that has been given to me, and I want to take advantage of it to the maximum. We had great preparation for the fight, and we will be giving it our all on the 11th of September in Las Vegas,” Valdez told ESPN Deportes. “I know that Chris Avalos is a strong fighter, and he will be very prepared I have been working very hard and with the help of my team, I will also be in optimum fighting condition.”

“I do all of my preparations as if it were a world title fight, and this is no exception,” he added.

For the Sonoran, this will be his third fight of the year. He knocked out Jose Ramirez in April and despite getting floored in the opening frame against Ruben Tamayo, he rebounded to dominate the remainder of the bout in a 10-round unanimous decision victory.

In the last two years, he’s fought six times. Although he’s been slightly more inactive this year, the 24-year-old still has time to get two more fights in by the end of the year.

“We are getting better with every fight and it is an honor to be the star of the Las Vegas event and on such an important day for Mexican boxing since it is Independence Day, a day my idol Julio Cesar Chavez started a while ago,” he commented.

In 1993, Julio Cesar Chavez headlined the main event of a card before 60,000 fans in a Mexican Independence day celebration against Pernell Whitaker.

On a mission to become the first Mexican fighter in boxing history to become a four-time world champion, he came up short in a disputed draw.

Inspired, Valdez is ready to become a world champion himself, but he knows he has to prove himself first to be worthy of such an opportunity.

“We’re near a title opportunity, but I must prove that I can fight for the championship.”

Valdez is right on the cusp of getting that world title shot. Ranked No. 2 by the WBO, the only man that stands between him and a shot against champion Vasyl Lomachenko, is Jessie Magdaleno.

Both stand undefeated and sport unblemished records, though, Magdaleno (21-0, 15 KO’s) has more professional experience than Valdez (16-0, 14 KO’s).

That fight would make sense not only from a business perspective but a marketing perspective because both of these guys have faced and defeated experienced fighters. The best man gets the big fight against the Lomachenko.

However, there has to be some caution and restraint shown from their respective teams if they don’t think their fighter is ready for that shot right away. Oscar Valdez has to be especially careful.

Lomachenko is a two-time gold medalist in the Olympics, a two-time gold medalist in the World Amateur Championships, and a 2008 gold medalist at the European Amateur Championships.

Experience is not the only major factor. On his way to his first gold medal at the 2009 World Amateur Championships in Milan, Lomachenko and Valdez fought in the semifinals.

And it wasn’t close.

Lomachenko defeated Valdez 12-1 as he went on to wipe out Sergey Vodopyanov by the same score in the gold medal match.

With that being said, I think we may see Valdez getting that opportunity in two-three fights. We’ll see how he progresses.