By Marcus Richardson: Scott Quigg says he’s agreed to terms for his March 10th fight against Oscar Valdez, and he says the fight is 99 percent finalized. Quigg says he feels confident the fight will be taking place against the 27-year-old Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs).
If the negotiations get finalized, Valdez will be defending his WBO featherweight title against the 29-year-old Quigg (34-1-2, 25 KOs) on March 10 on ESPN at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The Valdez-Quigg fight would be shown on Sky in the UK for the British boxing fans. Quigg’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport has an exclusive contract with Sky Sports to have many of his top fighters televised on Sky.
“We’ve been negotiating and everything that we have agreed verbally, if that’s put in the contract, then the fight’s a go-ahead,” Quigg said to skysports.com. ”I’ve agreed to the terms, so it’s now 99 per cent going to happen. Until that dotted line is signed, you cannot put 100 on it.”
Until the deal is done, you can’t assume anything. If Valdez’s promoters at Top Rank suddenly get cold feet at the idea of letting their popular fighter face the experienced former WBA 122 lb. champion Quigg, they might back out of the fight with an excuse. It would look bad in the eyes of some boxing fans, but it’s better for Valdez to look bad backing out of a tough fight than it would be for him to take it and potentially losing.
If the fight gets finalized, Quigg will likely be fighting in front of a large pro-Valdez crowd on March 10 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The 2008 Olympian Valdez has fought at the StubHub Center on 3 separate occasions during his 6-year pro career. Valdez brings in a lot of boxing fans to see his fights due to his exciting, action-packed fighting style. Quigg will need to ignore the crowd and fight his fight, because Valdez will be looking to impress the fans. Quigg has spent most of his career competing in front of fan-friendly crowds in Manchester, England.
Only once during Quigg’s 11-year pro career has he fought outside of the UK, and that was in his last fight against 36-year-old Oleg Yefimovych last November. Quigg easily stopped Yefimovych in the 6th round. Quigg didn’t have to worry about Yefimovych’s punching power the way that he’ll need to be concerned with Valdez, who is a big puncher that likes to fight on the inside. Quigg thrives fighting on the inside as well, but he hasn’t ever dealt with an inside banger like Valdez before. It should be interesting to see how well he deals with game.
“Valdez is talked about as a future star,” said Quigg. “I’ve always wanted to fight in America.”
If Quigg can beat Valdez, it would be a big boost to his career. Valdez is viewed as a future star for Top Rank, who has been carefully building his profile since he turned pro with them in 2012. Up until now, Top Rank hasn’t put Valdez in any risk fights against talented fighters like Vasyl Lomachenko, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Carl Frampton or Gary Russell Jr. Top Rank has been careful with Valdez. The fact that the promotional company is willing to match Valdez against Quigg, it gives the indication that they really believe their fighter can win this fight.
Barring a knockout, Quigg might need to defeat Valdez in a very convincing manner for him to get a decision win on March 10. Valdez is the highly popular WBO 126 lb. champion, and he’ll be fighting in front of a large crowd of his boxing supporters. Valdez has fought in California a number of times during his career, and his fights bring in large crowds.
While Valdez isn’t from the U.S., he’s still a guy that has been fighting in that country throughout his career, and he’s signed with the promotional powerhouse Top Rank. All those things may factor in if the fight goes to the scorecards. Quigg really needs to make sure he leaves no doubt inside the ring with if he wants to win a decision. Quigg already lost a close12 round split decision to Carl Frampton on February 27, 2016 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Quigg cannot afford to let his fights be close when he’s facing popular fighters like Valdez and Frampton.
Quigg and Valdez have sparred 4 to 5 times in the past. Quigg says the spars were competitive with neither guy getting the better of the action. However, Quigg says he feels good about how he did during the sparring, and that he can take that with him into the Valdez fight.
Quigg will be training with trainer Freddie Roach at his Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles, California.
Valdez usually likes to slug with his opponents, but in his last fight against Genesis Servania, he switched to a boxing style in the second half of that fight after getting knocked down in the 4th. Valdez showed a different wrinkle in that fight by boxing in the last half of the match.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Valdez chooses to try and beat Quigg by staying on the outside and landing pot shots. It would be a similar style to what we saw from Saul Canelo Alvarez in his fight against middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin last year on September 16. Canelo boxed and moved for much of the fight. When Canelo would mix it up, he’d do in the first minute of the round, and he would then cruise for the last 2 minutes to win the rounds.