Oscar Valdez's last appearance in the ring was a career-best. He fought Miguel Berchelt to death from the first bell and ended up flat on his face. This one-punchKO was a huge boost to Valdez's career.
He rose to the No. He rose to the No. 1 spot in ESPN's 130-pound rankings, and was crowned a two-division champ. The bad news that Valdez had tested positive for phentermine, a banned stimulant, made it seem like much of the goodwill was lost.
Devin Haney and Josh Taylor, star fighters, criticized him on Twitter, asking if he was a clean fighter. When Valdez had to face Robson Conceicao at Casino Del Sol in Tucson (Arizona), he was far from being the dominant fighter that tore through Berchelt.
Punch Stats Punches Valdez Conceicao Total Landed 83 141 Percent 21% 25 Jabs 19 38 Jabs Threw 181 279 Percent 11% 14 Power Landed 64 103 Power Thrown 209 297 Percent 31% 35 % -- Courtesy CompuBox
Valdez (30, Nogales (Sonora), Mexico) was a 3-1 underdog after he defeated Berchelt. Valdez, a 16-1 favorite, entered the fight against Conceicao (16-1; 8 KOs), 32 of Salvador, Bahia Brazil. Conceicao is an unknown fighter. Conceicao was unable to keep him in check for the first five rounds.
Valdez, long loved for his aggressive style, vowed to change to become a more defensively responsible fighter under Eddy Reynoso. Although the early returns were not good with some rough moments against B-level fighters like Adam Lopez, it was much more difficult vs. Berchelt. Conceicao saw him return to his old self. He was happy to eat two shots to land one, and walked into shots at times.
He fought as usual and rallied to win, but his face was a wreck, with cuts and scrapes all over his nose, cheeks and forehead. It was not a pretty win. Jamel Herring, perhaps? Both are better boxers than Conceicao. Valdez even lobbied for Conceicao in the ring after his fight.
Herring will defend his junior lightweight title against Stevenson Oct. 23rd in Atlanta. If everything goes according to plan Valdez will fight Stevenson. Valdez will have to be sharper by the time the matchup happens.
Round 12: Round 12 is an ultra-close round 12, but Valdez wins it. That round was far more aggressive. Conceicao showsboats until the last bell. Round 12: 10-9, Valdez. Final: 114-113, Conceicao.
Round 11: Conceicao wins with a strong Round 11. Valdez busted open. Conceicao continues to fire the right hand and land. Conceicao is hit on the back by Valdez, but no points were taken. 10-9, Conceicao. 105-103, Conceicao.
Round 10: Valdez is ratcheting up pressure, but he's finally cut. He's bleeding from his left cheekbone just under his eye. Anybody's fight going into the championship rounds. 10-9, Valdez. 95-94, Conceicao.
Round 9: Conceicao is disqualified for hitting the head behind the head. This was a highly questionable decision by the referee. It really stacks the deck in Conceicao's favor. Conceicao was the one who did the best work in that round. 9-9. 86-84, Conceicao.
Round 8: Conceicao is now the one who doesn't have any answers. His cardio is failing. Valdez is also punishing him by giving him body shots. I have given Valdez three rounds. Conceicao now needs to change the direction of the fight. 10-9, Valdez. 77-75, Conceicao.
Round 7: Valdez presses on with big shots that hit the mark. Conceicao appears to be tired and is not keeping Valdez in range. Great action fight. There will be drama at the end. 10-9, Valdez. 68-65, Conceicao.
Round 6: Valdez's most impressive round of the evening. There was more pressure, great bodywork and big shots. Conceicao did manage to land a big right towards the end, but Valdez won his first round. 10-9, Valdez. 59-54, Conceicao.
Round 5: Valdez is breaking down now. There are lots of scar tissue. Conceicao is feeling confident. He's now starting to clown Valdez -- doing what he wants. 10-9, Conceicao. 50-45, Conceicao.
Round 4: Conceicao hits Valdez with a powerful right uppercut, and continues to work. This jab is very confident. Valdez will need to land something huge to change the course of this fight. 10-9, Conceicao. 40-36, Conceicao.
Round 3: Valdez scores a big right in the first round. Conceicao responds and gets back to work. He connects on a lot of one-twos, which keeps Valdez at his end. 10-9, Conceicao. 30-27, Conceicao.
Round 2: Conceicao is in complete control through round two, but it's still very early. Patient, but aggressive. Valdez is already reddening and swelling from his right hand as he passes through the guard. 10-9, Conceicao. 20-18, Conceicao.
Round 1: Conceicao connects with a bunch of right hands to his body and does an excellent job controlling range using his superior height. 10-9, Conceicao.
Lopez dominates, upsets Flores
Luis Alberto Lopez (left) won a huge upset defeating Gabriel Flores Jr. in an unanimous decision. Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Luis Alberto Lopez defeated Gabriel Flores Jr. in a 10-round co-feature. This was a brutal shellacking from bell one of the undefeated prospects -- and a 13-1 favourite. The fight was scored by Lopez by all three judges: 98-92; 100-90; 100-90.
Lopez (23-2, 12KOs) was unaffected and marched Flores down round by round. Gabriel Flores Sr. Flores' father and trainer, Gabriel Flores, told his son that he would stop the fight before the 10th and final rounds. His father accepted the 130-pounder's pleas. Flores Sr. notified the commission supervisor to end the fight with about 10 seconds remaining in the round. Flores was taking more and more punishment. The referee never saw Flores on the apron.
Punch Stats Flores Lopez Total landed 112 162 Jabs landed 51 20 Jabs toss 200 156 Percent 26 13% Power landed at 68 142 Power thrown 228346 Percent 30% 41% -- Courtesy CompuBox
Lopez spoke through an interpreter, "I was expecting the fight would be stopped.
Flores' left eye was severely swollen by the constant pressure of power shots. Flores had no answers, and was unable to answer the questions on two of three cards.
Flores was emotional and said that he had "f---ing embarrassed" him, with his face severely shaved. "He was f---ing me up. I am very disappointed in myself. There are no excuses. Nobody wants to know the outcome. You either won or lost.
Top Rank has slowly built the 21-year-old Stockton fighter up, but it is not clear where he will go next. Flores (20-1-7 KOs) was coming off Jayson Velez's sixth-round TKO.
Lopez scored 142 power punches, compared to Flores' 68. Lopez, 28, from Mexico, is a natural 126-pounder and also has a victory over Andy Vences.
Nakatani wins TKO victory to retain his title
Junto Nakatani (left) retained his WBO flyweight title with a TKO win over Angel Acosta. Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Junto Nakatani is ESPN's No. With a fourth round TKO of Angel Acosta, Junto Nakatani, ESPN's No. 3 flyweight, retained the title. After Acosta broke his nose in Round 2, the doctor at the ringside advised that the fight be stopped. Acosta continued to fight despite the fact that blood was pouring into his mouth. Acosta even shocked the champion towards the end of Round 2.
Punch Stats Punches Nakatani Acosta Total Landed 57 40 Total Thrown 195 147 Percent 29% 27 7% Jabs 8 1 Jabs thrown by 83 37 Percent 10% Power landed 49 39 Power thrown 112 110 44% 36% -- Courtesy CompuBox
Nakatani continued to deliver punches to Nakatani's nose, causing more and more blood to spray everywhere in the ring. Acosta fought bravely but was stopped by Nakatani at Round 4. 32 seconds.
Nakatani, speaking through an interpreter, said that he caught him in round one right in the nose. "... "... I want to unify the titles." "I want to unify all titles."
Nakatani (22-0; 17 KOs), was only fighting outside of his native Japan. The 23-year old was making his first defense of the 112-pound title that he won in November by winning an eight-round KO against Giemel Magramo.
Acosta (22-2-3, 21KOs), was a champion at the weight of 108 pounds. He made three successful defenses and then lost a 12-round KO to Elwin Sto in June 2019. The Puerto Rican 30-year-old is ranked No. ESPN ranked the Puerto Rican at No. 9 at 112 pounds.
Zayas beats Sanchez but wins
Xander Zayas was fighting for the first time in his junior middleweight fight. He won a unanimous decision over Jose Luis Sanchez. Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Xander Zayas remained undefeated in his first fight at junior Middleweight, but he showed that he still has a lot to learn.
The Punch Stats of Punches Zayas Zanyas Sanchez Total landed: 184 69 Total throw 465 276 Percent 40% 25 Jabs landed 42 Jabs thrown at 153 73 Percent 28% 6 Power landed: 142 65 Power thrown 312 203 Percent 46% 32% -- Courtesy CompuBox
Jose Luis Sanchez, a 19-year-old Puerto Rican, was defeated by Jose Luis Sanchez via unanimous decision (60-53, 60-54, and 60-53). It was his most difficult test yet. He fought hard for six rounds and suffered a lot of damage, but also displayed some weaknesses that will need to be addressed in the gym.
Zayas (10-0-7 KOs) was a powerful offensive machine who displayed good punch variety, aggression and also took a lot of shots throughout the fight. In Round 3, Zayas hit Sanchez with a huge left hook, but the referee missed it.
After the fight, Zayas stated that the heat had "gotten to me a bit" in the final rounds. We knew Arizona would be very hot. We knew Sanchez was a formidable opponent. He is a Mexican warrior and comes from a strong fighting family. He was going to fight. We did the job. I listened to my side, boxed him and won unanimously. That's what is most important.
Sanchez (11-2-1; 4 KOs) was just coming off a draw against former title challenger Adrian Granados. The fight ended with Sanchez, a 28-year-old Albuquerque native, New Mexico resident, bleeding profusely.
Delgado demolishes Zamudio in two rounds
Lindolfo De Lagado, top Welterweight contender, defeated Miguel Zamudio in just two rounds to earn a TKO win. Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Lindolfo De Lagado, 2016 Olympian, won a stoppage in the second round of Miguel Zamudio's fight to make his record 13-0 (12KOs).
From the opening bell, Zamudio was beaten by the 26-year-old Mexican. In Round 2, Zamudio scored a knockdown with a right-hand. Zamudio (45-18-1 and 28 KOs), beat the count, but was stopped by his feet 50 seconds in the second round.
Zamudio (30) has only won one fight in six of his previous fights. Top Rank signed Delgado earlier this year, a 140-pound prospect.
Giron scores late KO over Garza
Eduardo Garza was stopped by Rene Tellez Giron (left) in round seven of their junior lightweight fight. Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Rene Tellez Giron defeated Eduardo Garza, before scoring Round 7 knockout. This was the result of a brutal lefthook to the body.
Giron (16-1-10 KOs) delivered a quick right uppercut that was intended to bring Garza down. Then, Garza fell to the floor in pain after slipping the liver shot in. After his shocking defeat to Michel Rivera, the 22-year-old Mexican fighter won a surprising upset of Carlos Balderas. At 130 pounds, Giron has become a fighter to be on the lookout for.
Garza (15-5-1 and 8 KOs), a native of Dover (Delaware) has lost his third straight.
Portillo is stopped by Aguilar to remain unbeaten
Carlos Manuel Portillo was defeated by Omar Aguilar in the second round of a junior welterweight fight. Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Omar Aguilar (22 years old) improved to 22-0 (21KOs) after a second-round knockdown by Carlos Manuel Portillo. The 140-pounder was lanky and scored a knockdown in Round 1. He then got two more knockdowns in Round 2.
Portillo was on the canvas favoring his right eye after the third knockdown. The ref counted 10. A left uppercut with a compact punch inflicted severe damage to the eye, giving Aguilar victory in his first fight outside his native Mexico.
Portillo (22-4-17 KOs), 28-year-old Paraguayan, lost his fourth fight in five.