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Oscar Valdez to face Jayson Velez on ESPN July 21

Oscar Valdez. Image courtesy of Getty Images
Fighters Network

Junior lightweight contender and former WBO featherweight titleholder Oscar Valdez will face Jayson Velez on July 21, manager Frank Espinoza told The Ring Wednesday night.

The bout will take place at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will air live on an ESPN platform.

“I think it’s a great fight for Oscar,” Espinoza told The Ring. “It will be a tough test for Oscar.”

Valdez (27-0, 21 knockouts) last fought on November 30, overcoming a knockdown to stop late-sub Adam Lopez in six rounds. The fight marked Valdez’ debut as a legit junior lightweight contender after campaigning at 126 pounds, where he won a world title belt.

He is the mandatory challenger to face WBC titleholder Miguel Berchelt and WBO titleholder Jamel Herring. If Valdez survives Velez, there is talk of an all-Mexican battle between Berchelt and Valdez.

Born and raised in Nogales, Mexico, Valdez, 29, has fought under the Top Rank banner since his pro debut after competing in the 2012 Olympic Games. In Velez, he will face a fighter who has faced a variety of world titleholders, contenders and unbeaten prospects.

In his last bout on February 8, Velez (29-6-1, 21 KOs) lost a split-decision to once-beaten Jaime Arboleda in a very close fight. The loss snapped a string of three-consecutive victories for the Puerto Rican fighter.

Velez has recently faced the likes of Ronny Rios, Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz, Rene Alvarado, Alberto Mercado, Juan Manuel Lopez, and most recently unbeaten lightweight Ryan Garcia, pushing “Kingry” to 10 rounds for the first time in his career.

“Jayson is a very talented fighter who has faced some of the best fighters,” said Espinoza. “I know he faced (Arboleda) and many thought he won that fight. I think it’s a fan-friendly fight where the two will bring the best out of each other.”

This will be Valdez’s fourth fight with trainer Eddy Reynoso, the BWAA 2019 Trainer of the Year who works with Canelo Alvarez, Garcia, former unified heavyweight titleholder Andy Ruiz and unbeaten Frank Sanchez.

“Oscar would normally would be in camp in San Diego, but he has been training in Guadalajara (Mexico) with Eddy for the Velez fight,” said Espinoza. “In due time, Oscar will break camp and enter the United States and make his way to Las Vegas for the fight.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.



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