Jose Valenzuela believes his preparation prior to his first professional loss cost him during his fight with Edwin De Los Santos.
The refocused lightweight has had a better training camp for his upcoming bout with Chris Colbert. Valenzuela realizes a second straight defeat would be tough to overcome and he prepared accordingly while working alongside David Benavidez in the Seattle area.
Valenzuela, 23, and Colbert, 26, will meet March 25 in a 10-round lightweight fight on the Benavidez-Caleb Plant undercard at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout between Colbert (16-1, 6 KOs) and Valenzuela (12-1, 8 KOs) will be part of a four-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast (9 p.m. ET; $74.99).
“I know what my mistakes were,” Valenzuela said recently as part of a virtual press conference. “You know, I know why I took a loss. And, you know, I knew how I felt during the fight, so it was just really a matter of me getting my sh!t together, you know, biting down and staying focused and that’s what I did this training camp. You know, it’s been a very serious training camp. You know, David doesn’t like Caleb Plant, so everybody’s fully locked in. I’m fully locked in, so it’s just a perfect atmosphere for me to come back.”
The Mexican-born Valenzuela was supposed to oppose Panamanian southpaw Jezreel Corrales on the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Luis Ortiz undercard September 4 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. The Dominican Republic’s De Los Santos (15-1, 14 KOs) replaced Corrales (26-5, 10 KOs, 1 NC) on one week’s notice because Corrales couldn’t obtain a visa to travel to the United States for their fight.
Valenzuela, who resides in Renton, Washington, doesn’t think he took enough time to study Corrales’ late replacement.
“I just feel like it was a lotta reasons,” Valenzuela said. “But the main reason I guess I could put it – I was just rushing a lotta things. You know what I’m saying? Not taking my time, not, you know, just going through the days [of training camp]. You know, but now, you know, I’m reflecting on everything I’m doing, looking over everything I’m doing and just looking at every detail. You know, I was just doing things too fast and, you know, it just built up a lotta mistakes and it showed [in] my last fight.”
The left-handed Valenzuela dropped De Los Santos during the second round. The dangerous De Los Santos, also a southpaw, sent Valenzuela to the canvas once apiece in the second and third rounds before their scheduled 10-rounder was stopped while Valenzuela was still on his feet.
“You know, that all just comes with the game plan,” Valenzuela said. “I wasn’t going over it probably in my head. You know, last-minute opponent, I probably should’ve been more focused and dedicated on the game plan. But, you know, all that will be fixed March 25th and, you know, I will be victorious.”
Colbert also will fight for the first time since his first professional defeat. The Brooklyn native has moved up to lightweight to battle Valenzuela nearly 13 months after Dominican southpaw Hector Luis Garcia (16-1, 10 KOs, 3 NC) upset him by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight for Colbert’s WBA super featherweight title in February 2022 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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