Oscar Valdez revived his career Friday by scoring a ferocious seventh-round stoppage against Liam Wilson. 

The competitive fight immediately turned for Valdez after he connected with a combination of unanswered punches on the Australian, forcing referee Mark Nelson to step in and stop the action. 

The former 126 and 130 titlist (32-2, 24 KOs) became a beltholder again, picking up the interim WBO junior lightweight title his recent conqueror Emanuel Navarrete vacated last month. 

After being dominated via decision by Navarrete in August, Valdez bounced back admirably against Wilson (13-3, 7 KOs). 

“[Wilson is] a world-class fighter. I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I knew he was going to go in there and bang. I have nothing but respect for him,” Valdez told reporters after the fight. 

With the victory secured, the Eddy Reynoso-trained Valdez already has his sights on unifying titles in the division against Top Rank stablemates in IBF titleholder Luis Alberto Lopez (30-2, 17 KOs) and WBC titleholder O'Shaquie Foster (22-2, 12 KOs). A dream fight against Vasiliy Lomachenko is also on his wish list. 

“I have nothing but respect for Foster and Lopez. I would love the Navarrete rematch as well,” said Valdez. “Nothing personal, but the best want to fight the best. Let's bring old-school boxing back. I don't care who it is. I'll fight whoever. I want to unify. I want to leave a great legacy. I've done nothing yet in the sport. If I retired today, I didn't accomplish anything. I haven't made it. I'm still hungry. I want to be one of the greats.

“I want to thank Eddy because we worked so hard to be where we are right now. When we lose, we want to blame somebody. When we win, we have to show respect to who helped us be where we are.”

At the age of 33, the two-time Mexican Olympian and 12-year professional Valdez believes he has a lot more to offer to the sport. 

“I refuse to believe that once you're 30 you're done in this sport,” said Valdez. “I worked hard to be where I am right now with discipline. We're back. We're still here for a while.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.