By Jake Donovan
Oscar Valdez continues to plead his case as one to watch for the future, tearing down Chris Avalos for a fifth round knockout Friday evening at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The bout headlined the latest edition
of Top Rank's
Metro PCS Friday Night Knockout
Given his unlimited ceiling, Valdez against just about any featherweight is going to be a mismatch at this stage of his career. Avalos came in with title fight pedigreee, but was also moving up in weight and was no match for the unbeaten 24-year old in any category. Normally, the veteran banger stands a puncher's chance but found himself outgunned from the beginning.
Valdez throws a mean left hook with knockout intentions, but also knew where to be well before Avalos thought about throwing back - or anything at all. The two-time Olympian from Mexico built a solid foundation early, throwing a heavy jab followed by left hooks and right hands both to the body and upstairs.
The power attack eventually took its toll on Avalos. Even after landing power shots of his own, the former super bantamweight contender was on spaghetti legs after getting clipped with a crisp left hook towards the end of round three. Valdez cleaned up nicely, flooring the veteran with :05 to go in the round.
More punishment came in rounds four and five, with Valdez unloading before referee Russell Mora jumped in to rescue a defenseless Avalos.
The official time was 1:17 of round five.
Valdez improves—in every sense of the word—to 17-0 (15KOs). Heading in the opposite direction, Avalos falls to 26-4 (19KOs), having lost two of his last three. The 25-year old from California suffered a 5th round knockout loss to unbeaten super bantamweight champ Carl Frampton earlier this year.
The win is Valdez' third of 2015 as he continues to develop on various TV platforms.
His previous ring appearance marked his debut on HBO's flagship network (
and HBO are both under the Time Warner umbrella), scoring a 10-round decision over Ruben Tamayo in June.
Prior to that, Valdez was introduced to the HBO family in a 7th round knockout win over Alberto Garza last November on HBO Latino.
The level to which he would next like to introduce himself is the title stage.
"I want my manager Frank Espinoza to say the magic words—we're ready for a world title." Valdez told Top Rank on-air personality Crystina Poncher after the fight. "I know I did good, but I can always do better."
That's very scary news for any featherweights in his way.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com.