By Cliff Rold
Pick It: TBRB #4 Oscar Valdez vs. Jason Sanchez (Saturday, ESPN, 10 PM EST)
Mexico’s 28-year old WBO featherweight titlist Oscar Valdez (25-0, 20 KO) may or may not one day prove to be the cream of the crop at 126 lbs. For now, he has to settle for being one of boxing’s most entertaining fighters under 30. That’s more than enough.
Saturday he will attempt the sixth defense of his crown against 24-year old Jason Sanchez (14-0, 7 KO) of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s a big step up for Sanchez who has only just cracked the top fifteen of the WBA and WBO ratings and has been ten rounds just once. Can Sanchez surprise a boxing world with a fair share of upsets in 2019? Additional undercard action kicks off at 7:30 PM EST of ESPN+.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Saturday – DAZN (7 PM EST): Golovkin vs. Rolls
37-year old former unified middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KO) makes his first starts without a title in almost a decade live from Madison Square Garden. He will face 35-year old Canadian Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KO) with much on the line. A third clash with Saul Alvarez hangs in the balance as he makes his debut on the DAZN platform. Golovkin is a big part of the early investment DAZN is putting into boxing and a third clash with Alvarez is critical to their drive for subscribers. Can the Garden host two major upsets in a row? The main card starts around 9 but undercard action begins at 7.
Saturday – TyC (10 PM EST): Castillo vs. Moreschi
It’s journeyman action from Argentina at welterweight in this main event. Sometimes, that can deliver. 26-year old Walter Castillo (13-4, 3 KO) was stopped in one by Josh Kelly last year and enters off two straight defeats overall and four losses in his last five. Adolfo Moreschi (11-3, 7 KO) comes in off a win after losing two straight and has never been stopped.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]