At the age of 26, Oscar is a four-year pro. The WBO featherweight world champion, he is one of boxing’s brightest rising young stars.
Before his debut, he was an elite international amateur, considered one of the best in the history of Mexican amateur boxing. He had a fight in the World Series of Boxing in December, 2010, but it did not affect his amateur status and he continued to fight as an amateur for two more years after that.
Oscar is the first Mexican boxer to compete in two Olympic Games – in Beijing when he was only 17 years old in 2008, and again in London in 2012. He is also the first Mexican to win a medal at the World Championships – a bronze in 2009 – and was the flag bearer for Mexico at the Central American Games in 2010.
As a pro, Oscar has stayed active in the ring and made impressive progress. He fought six times in 2013, six times in 2014, and four times in 2015 – he stepped up in class of opposition, gave consistently solid performances, and rose to the top of the world rankings.
He fought three times in 2016, which included winning the WBO title in July and making his first title defense four months later in November.
In his last fight on April 22 in Carson, California, he defended the title for the second time and won a 12-round unanimous decision against WBO No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Miguel Marriaga.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported [excerpts]: Valdez made his second title defense and survived a rough fight with dangerous mandatory challenger Marriaga….
It was the kind of win that should make Valdez better because he was forced to deal Marriaga’s intense pressure in the toughest fight of his career.
This was a competitive and action-packed fight, but one Valdez, who took some good shots, deserved to win.
They spent much of the fight going toe to toe, but if there was any doubt that Valdez was in command, he erased it by dropping Marriaga with a great left hook to the head in the 10th round. [End Rafael item]
In earlier interviews, Oscar said, “I train in two gyms back home in Hermosillo. One is called CUM, and Hernan Marquez, the former world champion, he opened up a gym called HTM – for Hernan ‘Tyson’ Marquez.
“I just do light workouts for two weeks in Hermosillo and when the fight comes, I go to The Rock Gym in Carson two months before it. All the hard work is done there. In California, I don’t really do much. I go to the gym, go back to the house, relax, then go back and train again.
“I’m more of a boxer. I don’t really consider myself as a hard-hitting fighter, but I can do all different styles. I can bang with a fighter – if the guy boxes, I can put pressure. If I’m fighting a pressure guy, I can also box. Whatever the fighter brings, I’ll switch it up.
“I don’t really have a nickname. Back when I was an amateur, they used to call me ‘El Niño’ ’cause I was the smallest one on the team. I was 17 years old, and the rest of them were like 20, 23. As a pro, I didn’t really think of a nickname. I’m just called Oscar Valdez.”
STRENGTHS: Has good skills and movement, good punching power, a good body puncher, is versatile – can pressure his opponents, or box and move. He’s experienced against good opposition and has a tremendous amateur background
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 23 fights…101 total rounds…19 world championship rounds
AVERAGE LENGTH OF BOUTS: 4.3 rounds
KNOCKOUT PERCENTAGE: 82 %
DISTANCE FIGHTS: 12 rounds – 1 (1-0), 10 rounds – 1 (1-0)