WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) sits down with Mark Kriegel to discuss his early 2018 battle with Scott Quigg — a fight that he won but took a serious physical toll with Valdez having his jaw broken in the fight. Check out some excerpts below with the full video interview above.
Valdez on why he chose to fight Quigg against after Quigg came in well overweight, against the advice of his team:
“My father, and even the trainer, they all voted to not take the fight. I convinced them that I was prepared and that those pounds weren’t gonna make a difference, that I was gonna win no matter what.
“I remember exactly the moment [in the 5th round] where he broke my jaw. I felt that right hand, I knew right away that my jaw was broken. I couldn’t feel my jaw from my chin to my ear. I went back to my corner when that round finished and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I just kept on thinking who was gonna stop the fight, or the doctor’s gonna stop the fight — I don’t want to ever lose. Just took it round by round.
“I kept on thinking ‘am I doing the right thing, am I doing to the smart thing to continue?’ But every single punch I would get hit, it would hurt more and more. Somehow I managed to go through all that pain. I just kept on thinking ‘just be the smarter fighter, don’t let them know that you have your jaw broken.’
“But in the 10th round I remember me hugging him and he puts his hands on my face, tries to push me. What he really did was broke it even more. Him without knowing, pushed my jaw more and cracked it more. I heard it crack and I kept thinking to myself, ‘welp, it’s a little bit more broken now.’”
Canelo Alvarez on what he saw in Oscar Valdez as he fought through that broken jaw:
“I’d say character, you know? Character and being tough (having big pants, as we say in Mexico). He’s a warrior up there in the ring, and that’s where you can see who’s really brave.”
Valdez on what kept him going through the fight:
“One thing that helped me a lot in my career is being scared — I’ve always been scared of failure, of failing my family, of failing my people, failing myself.”
On what being a ‘Mexican warrior’ means to him:
“Mexican fighters had that same style of going in there and a lot of times getting hit, but also hitting back. I think it’s just in our nature, you know? We like to call ourselves warriors.”
On why he changed trainers:
“Sometimes a change is good. And I wanna last in boxing. I could see a lot of people wanting this job, but I think that the right guy was Eddie Reynoso.”