Oscar Valdez retained his WBC junior lightweight title tonight in Tucson, Ariz., taking a decision over Robson Conceicao.
Judges scored the fight 115-112, 115-112, and 117-110 for Valdez, with the latter probably a good bit wider than it should have been. Bad Left Hook scored the fight 114-113 (my card) and 115-112 (Wil Esco’s score) for Valdez.
Conceicao (16-1, 8 KO) started well in this fight, jabbing nicely and executing a good, simple game plan. But Valdez (30-0, 23 KO) started to get a more effective aggression going in the middle rounds, and Conceicao slowed down, enough that Valdez was at least back in the fight with arguments for winning the rounds.
More from Valdez-Conceicao:
- Luis Alberto Lopez dominates, upsets Gabriel Flores Jr
- Junto Nakatani breaks Angel Acosta’s nose to retain WBO title
There was a terrible point deduction against Conceicao in round nine from referee Tony Zaino, who in general seemed a little out of his depth in a world title fight, and checking his BoxRec, it seems to be the first one he’s ever worked, though that may not be accurate, there could be something that wasn’t credited to him, though for world title fights, likely not.
That point made the difference on my card, but my card doesn’t count, and on the three that do, it did not make any actual difference, as the judges gave seven, seven, and an absurd nine rounds to Valdez, who blamed Conceicao for “running.”
“It makes a fight complicated when somebody’s trying to run the whole fight. I’m trying to give my fans a good show,” Valdez said. “You can’t win a fight running like that.”
5 rounds in, @RobsonR60 is absolutely feeling it. #ValdezConceicao | LIVE NOW on ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/8L7o3n2G1D— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) September 11, 2021
As for what he hopes to do next, he made the call-out everyone wants to hear, but it’s also a call-out we’ve heard before that has thus far come to nothing.
“We all want the winner of Shakur Stevenson and Jamel Herring. Let’s do it,” Valdez told Mark Kriegel, and said he might go to their Oct. 23 fight in Atlanta.
For his part, Conceicao was convinced he’d won the fight, but he also seemed a little too sure he’d won it easily. He all but gave the 12th and final round away — again, wouldn’t have made a difference, but just tactically that was a really poor, arrogant decision.
The former Olympic gold medalist is 32 years old and had spent years doing basically nothing as a professional, biding his time until he got his shot, and now he got it and didn’t get the win. He seemed to indicate he’d take a rematch, but I think it’s safe to say Valdez isn’t going to be looking for that any time soon. There are bigger fights out there and this guy already proved annoying enough.