Issue | Premium | Preview | Jun 04 2019

High stakes for Oscar Valdez

Oscar Valdez must beat Jason Sanchez to nab a big fight, writes Daniel Herbert
Oscar Valdez
Mikey Williams/Top Rank

IT’s an interesting time to be a featherweight. In the UK, unheralded Josh Warrington has strung together a series of superb wins that have placed him near the top of the 126lb pile, while on the other side of the Atlantic, Gary Russell Jnr has shown signs of upping his one-fight-a-year-against-a-mediocre-opponent schedule by talking to Eddie Hearn about joining DAZN. Another key player in this shifting landscape is Oscar Valdez, the two-time Mexican Olympian who on Saturday (June 8) defends his WBO belt against Jason Sanchez at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. The show is promoted by Top Rank and televised by ESPN in the USA.

It looks a routine outing for Valdez, because although Albuquerque’s Sanchez is unbeaten at 14-0 (7) he has yet to encounter a world class name. Yet for the champion, the stakes are high – victory keeps him on course for a showdown with either Warrington, assuming the Leeds man retains against Kid Galahad on June 15, or Russell, if the Washington talent does leave the PBC for Matchroom.

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