Previously revealed, now official. Top Rank’s March 29th ESPN+ doubleheader in Glendale, Arizona will see Oscar Valdez battle Liam Wilson in the super featherweight main event and Seniesa Estrada take on Yokasta Valle for undisputed minimumweight glory in the co-feature.
This is as rock-solid a main card as you’re likely to find in this sport. Valdez (31-2, 23 KO), Wilson (13-2, 7 KO), Estrada (25-0, 9 KO), and Valle (30-2, 9 KO) are all top-notch fighters and reliable crowd-pleasers. The fact that it’s on a Friday and thus doesn’t have to compete with UFC or the following day’s Thurman-Tszyu PPV is icing on the cake.
Valdez and Wilson may also get some extra stakes, as reigning champion Emanuel Navarrete recently revealed his intention to challenge for lightweight gold later this year. I could stomach an interim belt if it gave this matchup two extra rounds.
Valdez said, “This fight against Liam Wilson means everything to me. It’s every boxer’s dream to become a world champion, so I have to get past this challenge so I can fight for a world title again. I respect Liam Wilson, but in the ring, I’m going to do everything possible to walk away victorious.”
Wilson said, “Valdez is exactly the fight I wanted and deserve after what I went through against Navarrete. The history books show that he beat both of us last year, but this time around we won’t need the officials. Valdez is a good fighter, a tough man, but after what I’ve been through already and what I plan on bringing, I believe he’s going to regret taking this fight.”
“Yokasta is not on my level and undeservingly carried those belts for too long,” Estrada said. “Yokasta, her promoter, and her trainer have had a lot to say. On March 29, I’m going to shut them all up. I’m leaving Arizona with all the belts and will continue to prove why I’m a pound-for-pound champion.”
Valle said, “I am over the moon that Seniesa finally said yes to this big fight. In reality, she had no other option because we chased after her so much. She had no alternative but to face me because the great fans of this sport demanded this fight. Boxing fans can expect a great fight. Once I get into the ring, I am going to give the performance of a lifetime.”
The undercard features your standard assortment of Top Rank prospects, though they definitely busted out some of the more promising ones. The featured attraction pits Raymond Muratalla (19-0, 16 KO) against Agustin Ezequiel Quintana (19-2-1, 13 KO), who isn’t the sort of opponent I’d personally throw at a top-10 lightweight. Unknown Argentinians and all that, but Quintana got smoked by Juan Javier Carrasco two fights back.
Speaking of mismatches, Richard Torrez Jr (8-0, 8 KO) gets another garbage fight against Don Haynesworth (18-8-1, 16 KO). I think an Olympic silver medalist should be fighting someone ranked in BoxRec’s top 300, maybe someone who didn’t get swept by Trey Lippe Morrison or lose a four-round UD to 6-6-2 Dell Long, but I guess I’m the crazy one.
Emiliano Vargas (8-0, 7 KO) also fights Nelson Hampton (10-8, 6 KO), though at least he has the excuse of not being old enough to drink yet.