By James Blears
World Boxing Council super- featherweight champion Oscar Valdez targets his first title defense, against Robson Conceicao, his nemesis harking back to amateur days, so on Friday September 10th at the Casino Del Sol Tucson, Arizona, it`s… hello again!
Something to prove for both of them, because Robson defeated Oscar by a single point, when they fought for Gold in the final of the Pan American Games back in 2009. Robson also underlined his skills by becoming the first Brazilian to win a gold medal at the 2016 Games in Rio.
With more than four hundred amateur bouts, Robson`s tally was more than double of Oscar`s, but Oscar also did rather well in the unpaid ranks. A double Olympian, he was the first Youth Champion aged just seventeen, winning that accolade in Guadalajara. Oscar has generously said of Robson: “Nobody wins a gold medal by being an easy fighter.” But he also ominously stressed: “I want to give a good performance for my fans, and to keep my belt at home!”
And he`s fighting in familiar surroundings. Born in Nogales, Sonora, Oscar spent part of his childhood in Tucson, going to the Manzo Elementary School.
Since those halcyon amateur days, their destinies have diverged, along different paths, with Oscar in the lead, distinguishing himself greatly in the pro ranks. So, now comes the moment of truth, as we will see just how each has developed and who has realized their potential to the fullest.
Robson aged thirty-two, is a late developer and bloomer in the pros. Shortly after his Olympic triumph, he turned professional, stopping four of his first five opponents. He`s maintained his winning ways, but in October 2020 he survived an early knockdown and got up, to defeat Louis Coria by UD. In his most recent fight in April, he TKO`d Jesus Antonio Ahumada in the seventh.
A tall and rangy fighter with decent power, Robson stands five feet ten and a half inches tall and has a seventy-inch reach. That gives him a four inch reach advantage over Oscar, who`s five feet five and a half inches tall. In his fifth year as a pro, Robson has a fifty percent KO ratio. Oscar`s is seventy nine percent and he`s 8-0 in world title fights!
Oscar who`s also thirty two, is in his ninth year as a pro. He became WBO featherweight champion and successfully defended the title six times, before moving up to super featherweight in 2019, winning a couple by KO. Then he declared himself ready to take on formidable WBC super featherweight champion Miguel “Alacran” Berchelt.
The fight in February last year, was a pitchfork barnstormer, rather a sting in the tail. Tale of the fight was that Oscar, who was not the odds favorite, upset the apple cart and produced a stellar performance which garnered him KO of the year candidate.
He knocked down Miguel in the fourth and the ninth, and one round later he leveled him with a massive shuddering counter left hook. It had been scheduled for the previous December, but Miguel had tested positive for Covid 19. He declared himself fit, but the lingering effects and residues of the virus, likely hampered him on that fateful night.
It`s not all been plain sailing for Oscar. In a voluntary defense of his WBO featherweight title in 2017, he was knocked down by then also undefeated Genesis Servania in the fourth. Unabashed, Oscar got up and returned the compliment in the next round, going on to win a UD.
In his very next fight in that same year against Britain`s Scott Quigg, more adversity and appreciably more severe. Scott weighed in two and a half pounds over the featherweight limit. It was a slugfest give and take in which Scott fractured Oscar`s jaw in the fifth, but although he ended the fight on his feet, Scott was sporting a broken nose and two lovely black eyes. Oscar who slowed him down with some wicked body shots, won a UD, and then got his jaw wired, taking more than a year to fully recover and get back into the ring.
Trained by Eddy Reynoso, Oscar is at the peak of his career and determined to prove a point. While, a win over Oscar would be a massive upset and propel Robson on to the top of the world.
Robson will need to try and use that longer reach to try and keep Oscar at bay, but for how long? Oscar is now an accomplished pressure fighter, who throws a very high volume of punches and he has proven power at the very highest level.
This is an audacious now or never boxing gamble by Robson, but the question is whether he`s totally ready for the Big Time? There`s a world of difference between the amateurs and the pros, and he`s never had to cope with this elite level of intensity.
Oscar is being respectful, but at the self-same time, he`s eager to forever rectify that long ago one point of difference, by making all the difference, here and now.
In a rather tame and dull as dishwater mundane manner, this encounter is dubbed: “Homecoming King.” Much better: “Day of Reckoning.” It will be a keen edged test of pride, willpower but above everything, who can punch the hardest, as this one is most unlikely to go the distance.
WORLD BOXING COUNCIL
Jose SulaimánWBC LIFETIME PRESIDENT (+)
Mauricio SulaimánWBC PRESIDENT
WBC SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
CASINO DEL SOL TUCSON, ARIZONA, USA
SEPTEMBER 10, 2021
TV: TV AZTECA / ESPN +
THIS WILL BE WBC’S 2, 114 CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE FIGHT IN THE FIFTY-EIGHT YEAR HISTORY OF THE WBC
DATE OF BIRTH: DECEMBER 22, 1990
BIRTH PLACE: NOGALES, SONORA
RESIDENCE: WEST COVINA, CA
RECORD: 29-0-0, 23 KO’S
KO%: 79.3 %
TOTAL ROUNDS: 168
WORLD TITLES FIGHTS: 8 (8-0-0)
TRAINER: EDDY REYNOSO
MANAGER: FRANK ESPINOZA
PROMOTER: TOP RANK
WBC no. 15 / CHALLENGER
DATE OF BIRTH: OCTOBER15, 1988
BIRTH PLACE: SALVADOR, BAHIA
RESIDENCE: SALVADOR, BAHIA
RECORD: 16-0-0, 8 KO’S
KO%: 50 %
TOTAL ROUNDS: 81
WORLD TITLES FIGHTS: 0 (0-0-0)
OLIMPYC GOLD MEDALIST 2016
MANAGER: LUIZ CARLOS DOREA
PROMOTER: TOP RANK
33 WORLD CHAMPIONS RECOGNIZED BY THE WBC OF WHICH 3 HAVE REGAINED THETITLE:
YOSHIAKI NUMATA (JAPAN)
RAFAEL LIMON (MEXICO)
AZUMAH NELSON (GHANA)
135 WORLD TITLE BOUTS HAVE BEEN HELD IN THE HISTORY OF THE WBC IN 15 COUNTRIES
THIS WILL BE THE 678th TITLE FIGHT IN UNITED STATES IN THE HISTORY OF THE WBC
PUERTO RICO 9
COSTA RICA 1
9 BOUTS HAVE BEEN HELD IN THE ARIZONA STATE IN THE ENTIRE WBC HISTORY
20/01/1980 ALEXIS ARGUELLO – RUBEN CASTILLO TKO 11 TUCSON SFE
02/02/1980 SALVADOR SANCHEZ – DANNY LOPEZ TKO 13 PHOENIX FE
12/04/1980 SALVADOR SANCHEZ – RUBEN CASTILLO DEC 15 TUCSON FE
21/02/1989 DENNIS ANDRIES – TONY WILLIS KO 5 TUCSON LH
30/10/1993 MICHAEL CARBAJAL – DOMINGO SOSA TKO 7 PHOENIX LF
29/07/2000 KONSTANTIN TSZYU – JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ TKO 6 PHOENIX SL
03/11/2007 JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ – ROCKY JUAREZ DEC 12 TUCSON SFE
11/05/2019 MIGUEL BERCHELT – FRANCISCO VARGAS TKO 6 TUCSON SFE
20/12/2019 JULIO CESAR MARTINEZ – CRISTOFER ROSALES TKO 9 PHOENIX FL
3 WBC SUPERFEATHER WEIGHT TITLE BOUTS HAVE BEEN HELD IN ARIZONA
BREAKDOWN BY DIVISION:
LT. HEAVY 1
LT. FLY 1
THERE HAVE BEEN 3 WBC TITLE FIGHTS BETWEEN MEXICO & BRAZIL
21/10/1973 EDER JOFRE – VICENTE SALDIVAR KO 4 SALVADOR FEATHERWEIGHT
13/09/1977 CARLOS PALOMINO – EVERALDO C. AZEVEDO DEC 15 LOS ANGELES WELTERWEIGHT
18/04/1987 JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ – FRANCISCO T. DA CRUZ TKO3 NIMES SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT