Friday, March 31, 2023  |



Oscar Valdez returns from layoff with seventh-round TKO of Carmine Tommasone

Oscar Valdez (right) vs. Carmine Tommasone. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Fighters Network

FRISCO, Texas — Oscar Valdez has endured grueling bout after grueling bout, so at long last, he was due for an easy touch.

He earned it after fighting through a fractured jaw in his last outing, a decision victory over Scott Quigg in March. Valdez called that two-month recovery on a liquid diet one of the hardest things he’s ever endured.

It’s behind him now, though, and fully healed, he returned Saturday on ESPN with a seventh-round stoppage of Italian foe Carmine Tommasone to retain his WBO featherweight title. Valdez scored four knockdowns and battered his overmatched opponent through each and every round.

A right uppercut on the chin finished Tommasone off at nine seconds of Round 7. Tommasone’s lip was sliced, and his right swollen and cut.

With a comeback win under his belt, Valdez, 28, hopes to return to top-level competition in his next bout, whether it’s a unification fight with Josh Warrington or a matchup with former champion Carl Frampton.

“To be honest, I didn’t really think about the jaw,” said Valdez, The Ring’s No. 4 featherweight. ” … The jaw’s 100 percent, ready for whoever. … 2019, we started it well and the sky’s the limit.”

Valdez (25-0, 20 knockouts) ditched longtime trainer Manny Robles and linked up with Eddy Reynoso, best known for his work with middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. The move was made with an eye on longevity. The Mexico native is one of the sport’s best action fighters, but he realizes that his reckless, face-first style won’t lend itself to durability through the years.

He made good on his promise to box more from the outside, albeit against limited opposition. Valdez pumped a jab in Tommasone’s face and carved him up to the body.

A counter-right hand planted Tommasone (19-1, 5 KOs) on the canvas in Round 4. Valdez followed up with another knockdown that round (produced by a left hook to the body), before scoring one a piece in the sixth and seventh frames.

Tommasone was beaten up, but not all was lost on this night. He proposed to his girlfriend following the bout, who accepted.

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger