Oscar Valdez’s broken jaw gradually left a pool of blood between rounds in his corner of the ring. Scott Quigg’s badly damaged nose wasn’t even the most grotesque feature of his battered face. Photos by Mikey Williams.
By the time Valdez and Quigg embraced after the 12th-round bell, the poncho-clad fans at StubHub Center’s outdoor ring rose to cheer an exceptional display of boxing perseverance through both rain and pain.
And Valdez headed for the hospital with his championship belt still firmly in his possession.
Valdez persevered through a grueling challenge from England’s Quigg in a steady downpour to claim a unanimous decision victory Saturday night.
Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) retained his WBO featherweight title while fighting under a canopy in this famed outdoor boxing venue south of downtown Los Angeles. With raindrops streaming through the spotlights onto the soaked crowd, the surreal setting added an extra layer of uniqueness to a remarkable, taxing bout for both men.
“Of course he’s got to get better, but I thought he did great considering he fought with a broken jaw,” said Manny Robles, Valdez’s trainer. “You have no idea how hard this kid works and how much he wants to please his fans and live up to his Mexican heritage.”
Two judges scored the bout 117-111 for Valdez, and the third had it 118-110.
The two-time Mexican Olympian got a punishing test from Quigg (34-2-2), who missed weight for the bout and appeared to benefit from that extra strength. Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that Quigg had a right foot injury during his training camp, likely affecting his ability to make the 126-pound limit.