It takes two to tango and on a very wet night at the StubHub arena in California, WBO Featherweight champion Oscar Valdez found a willing dance partner in Scott Quigg, giving the fight fans a reason to smile through the rain in an absorbing encounter.
Both left the ring looking a little worse for wear, Scott Quigg doing his best impression of Denis Lebedev after his fight with Guillermo Jones, his nose broken from one of the flurries of shots that Valdez slung his way.
Oscar didn’t get away (excuse the pun) Scott free either, teeth dislodged, it was reported afterwards that he couldn’t make an appearance at the post-fight press conference because of a broken jaw suffered, courtesy of the heavy-handed attack that Quigg administered.
A brave effort put forth from both men, but it has to be said, more so for Oscar who gave up a weight advantage to Quigg who unprofessionally came to the scales near 3 pound over the limit, weighing a reported 142.2 Pound on the night.
Given the disadvantage of weight, It would have been forgivable of Valdez to walk away from the bout, something which his manager Frank Espinoza advised him to do, but in the mindset of the teak-tough Mexican, it was a non-starter of a conversation, instead he laced up the gloves, bite down on his gumshield and returned from a hellacious contest to take a deserved unanimous decision from the rain-soaked judges who scored from ringside.
It was an enthralling contest for all who witnessed, Valdez reminding me of a young Arturo Gatti with the feeling of ‘hit me once, ill hit you twice’, like rock em sock em robots, back and forth the two men went but the speed of Valdez was the deciding factor in most exchanges as he ripped home hooks to the body and head of Quigg.
Quigg showed resilience, remained upright, tagging the champion with shots against the ropes that noticeably stiffened the legs of the champion but in the end it wasn’t enough as the two men embraced, knowing deep down that each took a little something from the other in a great contest for the ones who braved the elements.
BEST OF THE REST
This weeks pick came at the expense of both Mikey Garcia and Regis Prograis who both put out great displays, some may feel are perhaps more deserving of the fighter of the week award.
Prograis on Friday night, captured the Interim version of the WBC title with a demolition job of former Unified champion Julius Indongo. It was a contest we needed to see before he could take his place alongside the Super Lightweight elite in the consensus of fight fans.
I’m happy to report he did that and then some, Prograis chopped down the long, rangy frame of Indongo with ease, dropping him four times before the fight was mercifully ended.
The weekends high profile fight came courtesy of Mikey Garcia who became a four weight world champion with the decision victory over Sergey Lipinets.
Mikey who has held titles at Featherweight, Super Featherweight, Lightweight and now Super Lightweight used an effective combination of the jab followed with a straight right hand, offsetting the champions tactics of landing something substantial.
Experience played a role but it has to be said that Lipinets landed his fair share which could be ominous for Garcia’S future plans on moving further north of the division. It feels to me personally that he may have hit his ceiling in regards to a weight division but I’m sure in the next few months we will get a more definite announcement.
This wraps up this weeks #FOTW, Thank you for reading