by Francisco Salazar
CARSON - Not even a steady rain or Scott Quigg not making weight was going to ruin Oscar Valdez's night.
Valdez fought through adversity, even being hurt midway through the fight, to win a hard-fought decision over Scott Quigg Saturday night.
With the win, Valdez successfully defended his WBO featherweight title for the fourth time.
Rather than the fight itself drawing attention, the storyline for the fight was Quigg not making weight at Friday's weigh-in, weighing almost three pounds more than the contracted weight of 126 pounds. Quigg was not allowed to weigh again Friday, due to a rule by the California State Athletic Commission that does not allow fighters to re-weigh the same day if they are over the contracted weight by at least two pounds.
Quigg even refused to go through same-day weigh-in Saturday morning, where he was to not rehydrate over 136 pounds. Valdez was reportedly by his handlers told not to go through the fight, but reports were Valdez wanted to go through with the fight, looking to punish Quigg for not making weight.
Valdez (24-0, 19 knockouts), who resides in Hermosillo, but trains in the Los Angeles area, dominated the first three rounds of the fight, initiating exchanges and beating Quigg to the punch. Valdez found a home for his trademark left hook to Quigg's body.
Quigg got on track in the fourth round, increasing his punch output and attempting to walk down Valdez. The tactic worked in round five, as a barrage of punches ending with a right hand shook Valdez midway through the round.
Blood began coming out of the mouth of Valdez, but it was reported that it was because Valdez inadvertently bit down on his tongue or suffered from an internal mouth injury.
Valdez swung momentum his way during the eighth round. He created space between him and Quigg, fighting from the outside or countering with overhand right hands and left hooks.
Valdez also attacked the body of Quigg, which may have slowed the British fighter down going tint the championship rounds.
The action stopped with about 20 seconds left in the 11th round, when a right hand by Quigg landed way below Valdez's belt-line. When the action resumed, Quigg was hurt with a left hook to the head by Valdez.
Tired and bruised, both fighters threw everything in their arsenal during the 12th and final round until the bell sounded. They both embraced afterwards in the center of the ring.
Scores were 117-111, 117-111, and 118-110 for Valdez.
Quigg, who had won his previous three fights, falls to 34-2-2, 25 KOs.
After the fight, it was reported Valdez likely suffered a fracture in his jaw and would be taken to UCLA Harbor Medical Center in nearby Torrance.
Valdez did give credit to Quigg after the fight.
"I tip my hat off to him," said Valdez. "Look what he did. He knocked a tooth out of my mouth."
"It was a war. I got hit. He hit me with some good shots. That's boxing.
Asked about his future, Valdez was open to making any fights with the other featherweights in the division.
"I'm ready for whoever. I want to fight any of the world champions."
Manny Robles, his trainer, was more than impressed with his fighter's performance.
"He's a warrior," said Robles after the fight. "Oscar wants to please his fans. He has that Aztec spirit. I'm very proud of him and what he did through all the circumstances during the last day or so."