WBC junior lightweight champion Oscar Valdez sneaked by with a unanimous decision win over Robson Conceicao, outpointing the Brazilian gold medalist and outlasting a trying week headlined by a positive test for the banned substance Phentermine.
Valdez was awarded scores of 117-110 and 115-112 twice despite Conceicao landing 58 more punches throughout the bout.
Immediately after the fight, Valdez turned the page toward his future.
“Hopefully we can come back again [to Tucson, Arizona] with another great fighter. Hopefully it's the one we all want. You guys know who he is,” said Valdez. “We all want the winner of Shakur Stevenson and Jamel Herring. Let’s do it. They are great fighters. They are great champions. The best have to fight the best. Let the best man win that night.”
WBO junior lightweight champion Herring and former 126-pound titlist Stevenson are scheduled to fight Oct. 23 in Atlanta.
The trio of fighters are promoted by Top Rank. Pitting the winner of Herring and Stevenson against Valdez for a unification fight could very well be feasible.
“If the fighters want the fight, I have no problem putting Oscar in with the winner of Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson,” said Top Rank boss Bob Arum.
Arum later added that the fighters shouldn’t make ludicrous purse requests.
Valdez was separately annoyed by the overzealous Conceicao, who after the fight was in high spirits thinking that he won the fight. At one point he even got in Valdez’s personal space and started talking trash.
"I've been through a hard week. Sorry for all this ruckus. I'm not a disrespectful man. But [Conceicao], don't be disrespecting me. Don't be pointing at me. This ain’t all this man. I've been through enough,” said Valdez.
“He’s over here yelling in my face. We’re grown men. Don’t be yelling in my face. He might be upset. Of course you want to be a world champion, but don’t point at me, don’t be yelling in my face. I’ve been through enough this week, man.
“It makes the fight complicated when someone is trying to run the whole fight. I’m trying to put on a good show for my fans, give the fans what they want, which is a good fight. If he wants to run, you can’t win a fight running like that.
“We won the fight. We did what we had to do, and it's on to that next chapter.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com