Boxeo Telemundo: Ricardo Espinoza outboxes Brandon Valdes
Ricardo Espinoza outboxed Brandon Valdes over 10 rounds, to a unanimous decision late Friday night at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
Scores were 97-93, 98-92 and 99-92 for Espinoza, who improves to 25-3 (with 21 knockouts).
The Espinoza-Valdes bout, which was fought with no fans in attendance, commenced the “Boxeo Telemundo” summer series. All Star Boxing had to postpone its spring series in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Espinoza was making his debut at 122 pounds after campaigning as a bantamweight for most of his career. The 23-year-old most recently fought on December 13 in his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico, knocking Andres Garcia Guzman out in the opening round. The fight took place less than eight months after Espinoza lost by knockout to John Riel Casimero, who would later defeat Zolani Tete for the WBO bantamweight title.
Valdes was taking a significant step up in opposition against Espinoza. His most notable win occurred last August 24, defeating former bantamweight contender Jesus Martinez by unanimous decision.
From the opening bell, Espinoza was the aggressor, closing the distance between the two fighters and putting Valdes on the defensive. Espinoza initiated most of the exchanges, landing hooks and crosses to Valdes’ head.
Valdes, who is trained by Manny Robles, did connect with counter left hooks to Espinoza’s head. He did his best work during the middle rounds when he utilized a consistent jab followed by right hands upstairs.
Momentum swung back in Espinoza’s favor in Round 7 as his punches began to slow down Valdes’ punch output. Espinoza stunned Valdes about a minute into Round 9 as a combination followed by a right cross to the head backed him up against the ropes. Valdes recovererd but Espinoza again stunned Valdes with a right hand upstairs. Valdes was able to make it out of the round and survived Espinoza’s attack during the final round.
Espinoza, who is studying business administration at La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, is confident he can more than hold his own against any of the top fighters at 122 pounds.
Valdes, who is originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, and now resides in Los Angeles, suffers his first loss as a pro and drops to 13-1 (with 7 KOs).
In the co-feature bout, unbeaten junior featherweight Jorge De Jesus Romero (17-0-1, 12 KOs), who is originally from Cuba and now resides in Miami, Florida, and Daniel Lozano fought to a majority draw over eight rounds.
One judge scored the bout 77-75 for Lozano but the other two judges scored the bout 76-76.
Lozano, who resides in nearby Bowling Green, moves to 15-9-1 (with 11 KOs).
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 (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.
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