Friday, March 24, 2023  |



Oscar Valdez denies reports he’s fighting Robson Conceicao next, wants Jamel Herring instead

Photo by Mikey Williams/ Top Rank

ARLINGTON, Texas — Oscar Valdez is not fighting Robson Conceicao next.

The newly minted junior lightweight champion stated Friday that reports of him fighting the 2016 Olympic gold medalist next were untrue.

Valdez made the comments at the weigh-in for Saturday’s super middleweight world title unification between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders, which took place at the AT&T Plaza outside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“I haven’t heard [anything] yet [about a Conceicao fight],” he told The Ring. “I just arrived from Mexico. I haven’t heard [anything] from Top Rank or my managers. I’m just sitting and waiting for whatever happens.

“I’m still training and staying active. So when they tell me [who my next opponent will be], I’ll be ready.”

Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs), 30, a two-time Olympian from Mexico, suffered a loss to Brazil’s Conceicao (16-0, 8 KOs) at the 2009 Pan American Games final in Mexico City. The 32-year-old defeated Valdez by a four-round decision en route to capturing an Olympic gold medal before a hometown crowd at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Conceicao, who is fresh off a seventh-round stoppage of Jesus Antonio Ahumada on April 10 in Oklahoma, has never competed in a 12-round bout.

Valdez, however, has his eyes set on fellow 130-pound titlist Jamel Herring.

“I would like to fight Jamel Herring,” he added. “I have nothing but respect for him; he’s a great guy, but he has that belt. I want to unify the titles.”

Both fighters have improved under the tutelage of their new trainers. Valdez, who defended the WBO featherweight title six times before vacating the belt to move up to 130 pounds in 2019, knocked out Miguel Berchelt in the 10th round in a clear knockout of the year contender to win the championship as a mandatory challenger on February 20. The triumph was just his fifth bout with Eddy Reynoso, who also trains Alvarez.

After dropping two of three fights from July 2016 to August 2017, Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) jumped ship and joined forces with Brian “BoMac” McIntyre.  Since that decision, the 35-year-old has won seven consecutive fights, including a signature victory over Carl Frampton, whom he stopped in six one-sided frames on April 3 in Dubai to defend his WBO title for the third time.

Valdez believes their recent success will culminate in a technical, competitive affair.

“It will be a [strategic] fight; a chess game for sure,” he explained. “Like I said, I got nothing but respect for Jamel; he’s a great guy, a great champion.

“But the fans want to see it. Let’s do it.”