Scott Quigg is due to fight for the WBO World Featherweight Title against Oscar Valdez on 10th March at the Stub Hub Centre in Carson, California. This will be Scott’s first World Title fight at featherweight along with his first World Title fight under the tutelage of Hall of Fame trainer Freddy Roach.
Undefeated in 23 contests Oscar Valdez is a very talented boxer having represented Mexico at the Olympics in both 2008 & 2012. He is also teak tough like most Mexican fighters and carries a lot of power as his 83% KO ratio would be a testament to. Trained by Manny Robles who also trains Gilberto Ramirez and Michael Conlan, Valdez is seen by many as the new star of the exciting featherweight division. Valdez has vowed to “leave it all in the ring” and also publicly stated that he wants to be one of the best Mexican boxers in history which would be no mean feat.
Training out of the famed Wild Card Gym in LA alongside the likes of Miguel Cotto, Scott has mentioned how the intensity of the training and sparring has helped him develop and improve as a fighter but this could be the toughest fight of career. They have sparred in the past but as everyone knows sparring is sparring, so whilst he may have some knowledge of how Valdez moves and operates as a fighter he will have to ensure he has the perfect game plan to negate some of Valdez’s shot selection.
Scott is no slouch himself when it comes to power either carrying a 68% KO ratio himself. It could be that this becomes a meet in the middle of the ring type of war to see who the last man standing is. However, I think it will come down to skill not power (as it so often does) in this one. Scott will need to use his lateral movement and footwork to make it difficult for Valdez to land cleanly and come back with strong shots of his own to deter Valdez from moving forward. If he does stand toe to toe, which is what Valdez would prefer, then it could suit his opponent more. Whilst it would make for an exciting night for the fans there is no point playing to the strengths of Valdez and making this a more difficult night than it already is. Valdez is known more for his power and his combinations (although his previous 2 fights have both gone the distance) and is an aggressive come forward fighter.
If Scott can frustrate Valdez in the first few rounds and create some openings of his own then this could be a fight where bye he wears his man down and comes on strong in the 2nd half of the contest. It has to be said since the criticism of the perceived slow start in his only loss to date against Carl Frampton Scott has started quicker in his last few fights so he may come out all guns blazing. That may well be the wrong tactics for this fight and I see Scott playing it cagey early on and turning on the gas after the first 4 rounds or so. This has all the makings of a classic and Scott Quigg firmly believes he will come out the other side of it as a 2 weight World Champion.