Undefeated New York welterweight Pablo Valdez was set for a dream appearance at Madison Square Garden’s Top Rank Extravaganza on St Patrick’s Day earlier this year. The back to back shows, which included the likes of Shakur Stevenson, Edgar Berlanga, Josue Vargas, and Michael Conlan unfortunately fell victim at the last minute due to the outbreak of COVID-19 sending New York City into lockdown.
Valdez had worked hard with trainers Gary Stark Sr, Andre Rozier and Dave Honig in preparation for his planned appearance on the Top Rank event, and had sold over 50 thousand dollars in tickets. The native of the Lower East Side opened up about his heartbreak in March of 2020.
Valdez said, “I was devastated when the show got called off. I was of course fully understanding of it and my thoughts changed to those who were sick from COVID-19. I tried to help by donating equipment to the hospital such as masks when they were short as I felt that’s what I should do in that situation.
“I had trained really hard with Gary, Andre and Scooter, for that fight. I had sold a lot of tickets and I was really excited to put on the best show of my career. Unfortunately the show was postponed but I have used the time well to continue to train hard and improve my craft and come back better than ever which I believe I will.
“I’ve faced adversities in life including doing an 8 year stretch in prison where I spent a large part of that in the SHU. That is where part of my mental strength comes from. I’ve been through bad times but I’ve come back from them and become a better human being. I will do the same in boxing.”
With boxing back on television and arena shows likely back in the early months of 2021, fighters are queuing up for opportunities to showcase their talent. New York’s ‘Pretty Boy’ discussed his plans for his own ring return.
Valdez stated, “I’d love another opportunity to fight on a big card like a Top Rank card on ESPN. I am devastated my last fight didn’t turn out as planned but I showed I am a draw in New York and that people want to see me fight. So fighting on a big show would be good for everyone I feel.
“I’ve been working hard throughout the pandemic. I’ve kept myself fit and focused to do some damage when I get back in the ring. I’m never in bad fights, I can always pull out a knockout shot at any point.
“I’m very close with Edgar Berlanga Jr. I believe he is going to be a superstar in New York, Puerto Rico and all over the world. We train hard together and I’m very proud to have Dominican roots myself. I’d love to share a card with Edgar as we had planned too in March and I believe either this year or next that can happen. I want to box before the year is finished.”