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Valdez vs Conceicao: Pros react to Oscar Valdez’s decision win, controversial scoring

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Oscar Valdez won against Robson Conceicao, but should he have?

Oscar Valdez v Robson Conceição Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Once Oscar Valdez failed a pre-fight VADA drug test for phentermine and was allowed to fight — and defend his WBC title — anyway, Friday’s ESPN+ main event with Robson Conceicao was always going to be shrouded in controversy.

Fight night itself left us with some more, as there is plenty of debate as to whether or not Valdez deserved the decision win he got from the judges in Tucson.

Valdez (30-0, 23 KO) won on scores of 115-112, 115-112, and 117-110, the latter a particular source of contempt for many observers.

The punch stats certainly do favor Conceicao (16-1, 8 KO), who out-landed Valdez 141-83 overall, and 103-64 in power punches, plus 38-19 in jabs. Valdez did land more body shots, 30-13, and the percentages weren’t too different. Valdez landed at a 21.3% clip overall, and 30.6% on power shots, while Conceicao was a bit higher at 24.5% overall and 34.7% on power punches.

But much of the gap was provided in the first five rounds, after which the rounds became much closer to call.

Anyway, here’s what some of the pros watching made of the fight and the outcome: