After a lengthy brewing process, WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez’s inaugural title defense agaisnt Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao is officially set to go down Friday, September 10th in Tucson.
JUST ANNOUNCED— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) July 20, 2021
After registering the KO of the Year and securing the top spot in the Junior Lightweight division, it’s time for @oscarvaldez56’s defense of the throne to begin.#ValdezConceicao | SEPT 10 | Tucson | ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/sRnexsQQhq
Valdez (29-0, 23 KO), whose apparent lack of size and string of underwhelming performances left him a sizable underdog against Miguel Berchelt in February, turned heads with a career-best performance, though none harder than “El Alacran’s” thanks to a Knockout of the Year-caliber left hook in the 10th. He takes a disappointing step down in class against Conceicao (16-0, 8 KO), who has yet to accomplish anything of note after more than four years as a pro.
“I am very excited to fight in my second home, Tucson, Arizona, where I will have my first defense of the WBC super featherweight world title,” Valdez said. “It motivates me to know that I will defend the title in front of my friends and my family, and I will be willing to put it on the line as in all my fights. I’m coming to give a great show to my people, and I can’t wait to see you on Sept. 10.”
Conceição said, “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this opportunity, and that’s why I’m training with great determination. I will represent my family and Brazil. I already won a gold medal for my country and now I will bring home a world title. With great determination, I will deliver a great performance. It will be a true spectacle!”
Deeeeep card incoming— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) July 20, 2021
@G_Squad_Nation vs. Luis Alberto Lopez in a 10-round co-feature
Junto Nakatani WBO Flyweight title defense against Angel Acosta
Top prospects @XanderZayas, @lindolfodeel & Raymond Muratalla return#ValdezConceicao | SEPT 10 | Tucson | ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/ANV4uktZYT
The co-feature pits Stockton’s own Gabriel Flores Jr. (20-0, 7 KO) against Luis Alberto Lopez (22-2, 12 KO) in a nice little super featherweight tussle. Flores has gotten a hard push from Top Rank and has thus far held up his end of the bargain, most recently putting an absolute beating on Jayson Velez, while Lopez is 10-1 in his last 11 with a win over Andy Vences and a loss to Ruben Villa in that span.
“This is the next step in my journey towards a world title, and I will convincingly defeat Lopez,” Flores said. “I’m going to prove once again that I’m ready for the next level.”
Lopez said, “I appreciate matchmaker Brad Goodman and Top Rank for the opportunity to fight Gabriel Flores Jr. I know he’ll be prepared to give everything on Sept. 10, but so am I, and I guarantee nothing but my very best. I’m a man of few words, and I’ll let my actions do the talking inside the ring.”
While there isn’t really a “main card” and “undercard” considering they’re all on ESPN+, Top Rank did elect to stick the evening’s best fight on the preliminaries: Junto Nakatani’s (21-0, 16 KO) flyweight title defense against Angel Acosta (22-2, 21 KO). It’s both an absolute slugfest in the making and a chance for Western audiences to meet one of the most promising young champions in the game.
Other names include Xander Zayas (9-0, 7 KO), Lindolfo Delgado (12-0, 11 KO), Rene Tellez Giron (15-1, 9 KO), Raymond Muratalla (12-0, 10 KO), and Omar Aguilar (21-0, 20 KO).