Oscar Valdez outpoints Jason Sanchez, targets Carl Frampton

Anthony Cocks

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WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez 26-0 (20) extended his unbeaten run with a 12-round unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten WBO number 13 contender Jason ‘El Alacrancito’ Sanchez 14-1 (7) at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada on Saturday night.

A crowd of 2,412 people watched on as the 28-year-old Mexican champion defended his world championship for the sixth time.

Sanchez proved a tough customer but Valdez was a step ahead throughout the fight, eventually earning a clear-cut points decision. Judge Tim Cheatham scored the fight 118-109, judge Eric Cheek had it 117-110 and judge Glenn Trowbridge turned in a card of 118-109, all for the champion.

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Valdez had Sanchez on the deck in the fifth frame courtesy of a left hook and continued to bust up the 24-year-old challenger from New Mexico as the rounds progressed.

“I hope (to fight at featherweight again)” said Valdez after the fight. “I also have to listen to my body. We’re going to see what’s best. Sometimes I get tired in there, and I’m not sure if it’s because of the weight loss.

“We’ll talk about (my next move) as a team and we will do what is best. I want to fight everybody at 126, 130. Let’s do it.”

Promoter Bob Arum praised Sanchez for his grit and determination and proposed former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton as a potential opponent for Valdez later this year.

“Sanchez lacked experience, but he showed tremendous guts. Oscar Valdez fought him back and showed his championship heart,” said the Top Rank boss.

“We’re going to look for a fight later on in the year between Valdez and Carl Frampton, if Frampton is successful in his next fight.”

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