WBO featherweight beltholder Oscar Valdez flexes after weighing-in for his title defense against Genesis Servania. Photo / Mikey Williams-Top Rank
It’s harder to stay at the top than to get there, and that is definitely the case at top level of the featherweight division.
Unbeaten WBO titleholder Oscar Valdez is demanding a unification bout against Josh Warrington or Carl Frampton, who contest the former’s IBF featherweight title at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, on December 22.
Valdez, who is rated No. 4 by The Ring at 126 pounds, has won all 24 of his professional fights, 19 by knockout, and made four successful title defenses. However, the hard-hitting 27-year-old is determined to emerge as the undisputed number one in the division.
“I have always said that I want to fight the best,” said Valdez. “Frampton and Warrington are both big names in the sport. I’m ready to fight the winner and unify titles. I want to prove I’m the best featherweight in the world.”
Valdez’s promoter, Bob Arum, revealed that he has already spoken with Frank Warren about setting up the unification clash. The Top Rank founder and CEO told ‘The Boxing Beat’ on ESPN+, “We’re looking at January 12 for Valdez to fight on ESPN and then, assuming he wins that fight, we would put him in with the Frampton-Warrington winner.
“I’ve already talked to Frank Warren about that.”
Valdez suffered a broken jaw when he outpointed Scott Quigg in March, an injury which has kept him sidelined. There were rumors that the Mexican boxer-puncher was set to face Frampton in August, but his injury remained an issue at that time.
The bout will be broadcast live on BT Sport Box Office.
Also on the card, JJ Metcalf will face Liam Williams at junior middleweight, while Mark Heffron challenges for the British middleweight title. Belfast’s Michael Conlan, former flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes, light heavyweight contender Steven Ward, Sam Maxwell, heavyweight Alex Dickinson and highly-touted cruiserweight Jack ‘One Smack’ Massey will also see action.
Tickets, available from Eventim, are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.
Tom Gray is Associate Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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