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Oscar Valdez outpoints Miguel Marriaga in grueling battle

WBO featherweight titlist Oscar Valdez (right) and Miguel Marriaga exchange hard punches during their grueling fight on April 22, 2017. Photo / German Villasenor

Oscar Valdez passed the first stern test of his pro career by out-boxing and out-punching dangerous and gutsy Miguel Marriaga over 12 grueling rounds to retain his WBO featherweight title by unanimous decision on Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Valdez (22-0, 19 knockouts), scored a knockdown in Round 10 to ensure victory by scores of 119-108, 118-109 and 116-111. The official cards do not reflect the hotly contested nature of the fight, which headlined a Top Rank-promoted pay-per-view show.

The 26-year-old Mexican Olympian landed the harder punches throughout the fight but the 30-year-old Colombian challenger took his best shots and marched forward, landing his share of solid punches. Valdez’s ability to land a stiff jab and power-punch while on the move was the difference in an entertaining scrap.

In Round 10, it looked like Marriaga (25-2, 21 KOs) was beginning to turn the tide by backing Valdez up with a barrage of power shots but the Nogales native landed a hook that instantly stunned and dropped the brave challenger. Marriaga got up and from that point the two featherweights battles toe-to-toe until the final bell to the delight of the StubHub crowd, which has grown accustomed to such ring wars over the years.

A full ringside fight report will be posted later this evening.