Valdez and Hart to kick off truTV fall season on Sept. 11
Oscar Valdez and Jesse Hart are two of Top Rank Promotions’ young, unbeaten fighters. They face stiff opposition in showcase bouts on Sept. 11.
Valdez will fight former junior featherweight title challenger Chris Avalos, while Hart will face Aaron Pryor Jr. at the Chelsea Ballroom inside The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nev.
Both 10 bouts will air live on truTV as part of the fall season debut of “MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout,” beginning at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT.
Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman advised RingTV of the two fights late last week.
Valdez (16-0, 14 knockouts) is one of Top Rank’s brightest prospects. The two-time Olympian from Mexico won a one-sided, 10-round decision against Ruben Tamayo in his last bout on June 27.
“I am very happy to be fighting on September 11 in Las Vegas,” said Valdez, who is managed by Frank Espinoza. “I have a difficult opponent that night but the plan is to win and get myself closer to that world title shot I desire.”
Avalos (26-3, 19 KOs) knows about world title shots. The Lancaster, Calif. resident challenged Carl Frampton for the IBF junior featherweight title on Feb. 28, losing by technical knockout in the fifth round. In his last bout on Aug. 1, Avalos won an eight-round, unanimous decision over Rey Perez.
“I am excited for the fight,” said Avalos. “It’s an interesting match-up because not a lot of prospects get matched up with tough opponents these days. The best part about facing undefeated fighters is erasing the zero from their loss column. Valdez is next on my hit parade.”
In his last bout on May 2, Hart, (17-0, 14 KOs), who resides in Philadelphia, stopped Mike Jimenez in the sixth round.
Pryor should be a decent test for Hart, since he has fought some of the better fighters at 168 and 175 pounds. In his last bout on Apr. 11, Pryor (19-8-1, 12 KOs) was stopped after the sixth round by unbeaten Marcus Browne. The loss snapped a four-bout unbeaten streak for Pryor.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since Oct. of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.