By Chris Williams: WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez has been ordered by the World Boxing Organization to defend against #1 contender Shakur Stevenson in his next fight. This is a fight that should be easy to make given that both guys are with Top Rank. It’s unclear whether the 28-year-old Valdez (26-0, 20 KOs) fancies the fight or not. It wouldn’t be an easy one.
The WBO has set a purse bid for Friday, August 2. However, Valdez’s manager Frank Espinoza sounds less than pleased at the news, saying that Oscar wants big fights against IBF champion Josh Warrington or former two division world champion Carl Frampton.
Espinoza adds that Valdez has problems making weight for the division.
2016 Olympic silver medalist Stevenson (12-0, 7 KOs) has looked impressive recently with wins over Alberto Guevara, Christopher Diaz, Jessie Cris Rosales, Viorel Simion and Carlos Ruiz. Since turning pro in 2017, Stevenson has been getting better with each fight.
Valdez’s manager Espinoza comments on news of WBO ordering Stevenson fight
“Oscar Valdez wants a big name. Either Warrington or Frampton,” said Espinoza on Twitter. “Feels he deserve a fight with one of them. #boxing. Valdez has been at featherweight for his whole career. Defended his title 6 times successfully. It’s no longer easy make the weight but will for Warrington or Frampton. He feels he deserves those names.”
Top Rank boss Bob Arum will have the final say on whether the Valdez vs. Stevenson fight takes place. It makes sense for the promotional company to make this fight, because it takes the winner of the contest’s career to the next level. Stevenson, 22, looks like he’s the one who has the ability to became a star at this point.
For whatever reason, Valdez’s career has failed to take off. Despite the fact that two time Mexican Olympian Valdez has held the WBO 126 pound title for three years, there’s been a failure to launch in terms of him showing future star power. Part of the problem, of course, is the weak match-making that Top Rank has done with Valdez. Stevenson looks like a future star. Unfortunately for Lopez, his career isn’t taking off, and it doesn’t look like he will. The careful match-making that’s been done for Valdez has kept him from gaining a large following. To become a star, a fighter must take chances by facing the best. We haven’t seen with Valdez.
Since Lopez’s grueling 12 round unanimous decision win over former WBA super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg last year in March 2018, he’s been matched softly against Jason Sanchez and Carmine Tommasone. Those two fights have eaten up half of 2019 for Valdez, and he’s not progressed. The only tough
Valdez will look bad if he vacates WBO title to avoid Stevenson
Stevenson is a big fight for Lopez, and even bigger than matches against Frampton and Warrington in terms of U.S appeal. Stevenson is well known with the American boxing fans. You cant’t say the same thing about Warrington and Frampton. Those guys aren’t well known in the eyes the casual boxing fans in the U.S. The 32-year-old Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs) lost his last fight to Warrington by a 12 round unanimous decision on December 22, and he looked shot. Frampton is scheduled to journeyman Emmanuel Dominquez (26-8-2, 18 KOs) next month on August 10 in Philadelphia.