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Oscar Valdez overcomes Scott Quigg to retain WBO featherweight title

Oscar Valdez beat Scott Quigg by unanimous decision to retain his WBO featherweight title on Saturday night in Los Angeles.

The judges’ scorecards told the story of the fight, as all three had the Mexican winning by a decent margin: 117-111, 117-111 and 118-110.

Valdez started the better of the two as he landed some heavy body shots and had no trouble breaking through Quigg’s porous defence in the opening rounds.

The Bury man appeared hurt at the start of the second, but weathered his opponent’s early storm and started to come into the fight after three rounds.

Valdez, forced to box off the back foot as a result of Quigg’s relentless pressure, struggled to retain control in the fourth and fifth. The challenger clearly hurt the champion on a couple of occasions during this period, but ultimately couldn’t keep control.

The Mexican snatched back momentum in the middle rounds when the fight became a bloody affair. Quigg was cut over his left eye while Valdez fractured his jaw, causing blood to pour from his mouth.

Down the stretch, the WBO king showed his class as he finished strongly and claimed a wide unanimous decision victory.

Reacting to the bout, Valdez said: “Much respect to Scott, it was a war. I take my hat off to Quigg. He caught me with some big shots, he’s a tough fighter.”

When asked about his future, the WBO ruler declared: “Any champion out there who wants to take the fight, I’ll fight whoever.”

In his own post-fight interview Quigg humbly admitted defeat: “The better man won. I was in the fight all along. I enjoyed it and I hope the fans enjoyed it. I hurt him a couple of times and he only hurt me once.”

The 29-year-old shocked the boxing public by coming in 2.8lbs overweight for the fight on Friday, meaning he couldn’t claim the title if he had won.

Some suggested the move was a deliberate ploy by Quigg to gain an advantage, but he dismissed this: “I didn’t do that as a tactic. With four weeks to go I fractured my foot and it hindered me to do the roadwork. I still apologise, but I’m a professional, I don’t cut corners.”

Earlier in the night there were wins for Andy Ruiz Jr, Alex Saucedo and Esquiva Falcao on the undercard.

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