THE RESULT: Oscar Valdez resurrects his hopes of becoming a two-time world super-featherweight champion stopping Liam Wilson at 2.48 in round seven of their fight at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.


KEY MOMENTS: Valdez was putting everything into his punches twisting the body and letting his hands fire at Wilson as if he was a punchbag. The Australian was in trouble in round two with his nose bloodied and in the seventh Valdez was cut above the left eye but got the job done before it turned into something which could have affected him. Crucially, one of the most important factors throughout the contest was the Valdez left hook. Wilson was punished with it time and time again and the same shot kicked off the sequence which saw the fight stopped.


RECORDS: Oscar Valdez jumps to 32-2 (24 KOs) but Liam Wilson suffers his third defeat, his second in 13 months and has a record which now reads, 13-3 (7 KOs).


TALKING POINT: The future of Valdez was on the line tonight. Having lost to Emanuel Navarrete in a classic at the Desert Diamond Arena last August it would have been catastrophic to then lose to the man who his compatriot had also beaten six months earlier.


QUOTABLE: “It crossed my mind [I was finished],” Valdez told ESPN’s Mark Kriegel after his win. “I want to be an example in boxing. You might lose in life but there’s an obligation to come back strong.”

Valdez was asked where he ranked this triumph. “It’s gotta be up there. It means a lot. I proved a lot of people wrong again.”

The two fighters shared an embrace and a brief conversation soon after the fight and Valdez revealed what he told Wilson. “I told him not to give up. I lost. It doesn’t mean you’re done in the sport. He almost got me, he almost got “Vaquero” (Navarrete). He carries a punch; he can do it.”

Kriegel also spoke to Liam Wilson. “That’s just the way boxing goes,” the Aussie said. “I tried to box the first few rounds and my heart got the better of me. I want to be in these tough fights. I’ve gotta learn from it. It’s still early in my career, I’ve got plenty to go.


WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? The win earned Valdez the WBO Interim belt at 130lbs. Emanuel Navarrete is the champion, but his next date is at lightweight on May 18 against Denys Berinchyk for the vacant WBO title at 135lbs. Should he win then he may vacate his super-featherweight strap leaving Valdez to be elevated to full champion status. This would then open him up to a unification against Top Rank stable-mate and WBC titlist O’Shaquie Foster.