WHEN it was decided in late 2018 that Eddie Reynoso, the trainer of Saul Alvarez, would assume the role of chief second for WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez, it was an obvious sign that his handlers were concerned about the shelf life of their charge.
The entertaining 28-year-old Mexican had been put through the wringer in recent years, engaging in TV-friendly barnburners with rugged, chin-testing journeymen like Miguel Marriaga and Genesis Servania. Against former titleholder Scott Quigg, who had come in overweight, Valdez had to fight through with a broken jaw. The cost? A trip to the emergency room and a year-long recovery, part of which was spent trying to sip soup with his mandible wired shut.
Clearly, the physical toll was becoming an unavoidable issue, so his handlers whisked Valdez away from trainer Manny Robles and brought him to Reynoso in hopes of shoring up his defensive abilities.