WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez entered the bout on Friday night marred in controversy over a failed drug test which some claimed shouldn’t have allowed him to defend his crown against Robson Conceicao, but having had the green light from the WBC and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe the fight went ahead as planned on Friday night, the venue being the AVA Amphitheatre at Casino Del sol in Tuscan, Arizona.
A long-running rivalry existed between the two men from their days in the amateurs with Conceicao holding a victory over Valdez at the Pan-Am games in 2009 but the Mexican would even the scores on the night with all three judges in the agreement of a winner.
Conceicao started the contest using his advantages of reach to score with his jab which continued until the third where we witnessed the famed power of Valdez with a solid shot that landed flush on the Brazilian.
Conceicao showed a good chin to take the shot without the obvious effect it intended as stablemate / Pound 4 Pound King Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez cheered on his friend’s every move from ringside.
The Brazilian started to showboat in the fifth, turning away from the champion, dropping his hands to goad Valdez in the belief he was handily winning the fight.
Valdez continued to exert pressure through the middle rounds as Conceicao’s advances faded. The Brazilian had obviously emptied his reserves by the eighth, looking lethargic in his approach that was further hindered in his pursuit of the championship with a point deduction for a shot landed behind the head of Valdez, on later reflection it was a soft point to take from the referee.
Valdez however, remained in control of the championship rounds as both men finished with the thought of being the victor, but only one man would get that acknowledgement with the judges scoring the contest 117-110 whilst two scored it closer as 115-112 all in favour of Valdez who defended the crown he took from Miguel Berchelt.
“It makes the fight complicated when someone is trying to run the whole fight,” Valdez told ESPN’s Mark Kriegel after the bout. “I’m trying to put on a good show for my fans, give the fans what they want, which is a good fight. If he wants to run, you can’t win a fight running like that.”
In the co-feature, Undefeated Gabriel Flores Jr was upset by veteran Luis Alberto Lopez who decisioned the star via scores of 98-92, 100-90 and 100-90.
Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank