Oscar Valdez’s first stop on the comeback trail won’t be an easy one, as Mike Coppinger reports that a clash with former title challenger Liam Wilson “is being finalized for March 29 in Glendale, Arizona.”
Both Valdez (31-2, 23 KO) and Wilson (13-2, 7 KO) fell short in title fights against Emanuel Navarrete last year. Wilson battled the former featherweight champ in February for the vacant 130 lb belt left behind by Shakur Stevenson, and though he floored Navarrete in the fourth, “Vaquero” rallied back to stop him five rounds later. Valdez’s own tussle with Navarrete was similarly explosive, producing 12 rounds of Fight of the Year action before Navarrete got his hand raised.
Wilson returned to Australia to win two straight afterwards, while Valdez hasn’t fought since.
This really is a nice little piece of matchmaking. Though Valdez is at a career nadir after losing two of his last three, he’s still got the will and skill to hold his own against most super featherweights, and Wilson more than proved his bona fides in what initially looked like a mismatch against Navarrete. We’ll let you know as soon as Top Rank makes the announcement.