At the age of 30, Miguel is a seven-year pro. A contender at 126 pounds, he was an amateur standout in South America before his debut.
In his last fight on April 22 in Carson, California, he challenged WBO featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez for the title – Miguel gave a very strong effort, but Valdez won by unanimous decision.
The Ring’s Doug Fischer reported [excerpts]: Oscar Valdez passed the first stern test of his pro career by out-boxing and out-punching dangerous and gutsy Miguel Marriaga over 12 grueling rounds to retain his WBO featherweight title by unanimous decision at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Valdez scored a knockdown in Round 10 to ensure victory by scores of 119-108, 118-109 and 116-111.
The official cards do not reflect the hotly contested nature of the fight….
The 26-year-old Mexican Olympian landed the harder punches throughout the fight but the 30-year-old Colombian challenger took his best shots and marched forward, landing his share of solid punches. Valdez’s ability to land a stiff jab and power-punch while on the move was the difference in an entertaining scrap.
In Round 10, it looked like Marriaga was beginning to turn the tide by backing Valdez up with a barrage of power shots, but the Nogales native landed a hook that instantly stunned and dropped the brave challenger. Marriaga got up and from that point the two featherweights battles toe-to-toe until the final bell to the delight of the StubHub crowd, which has grown accustomed to such ring wars over the years. [End Fischer item]
Manager Ricardo Maldonado Jr. said, “I’ve been working with Miguel for his entire career – we even helped support him when he was an amateur. He lives in a small town in Colombia called Arjona, about an hour from Cartagena, but he trains for his fights in Cartagena at Coliseo Bernardo Caraballo.”
Miguel said through an interpreter, “I’m a pressure fighter – I look for the fight all of the time.”
Regarding his nickname, he said “It’s my Zodiac sign.”