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Oscar Valdez and Scott Quigg close to sealing fight for WBO World featherweight title

Carl Frampton will be an interested observer in March.
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A DEAL IS close to being completed for Scott Quigg to fight Oscar Valdez for the latter’s WBO World featherweight title in California on 10 March.

Bury’s Quigg (34-1-2, 25KOs), whose bitter rivalry with Carl Frampton culminated in a sole career defeat and the relinquishing of his WBA World super-bantamweight belt in February 2016, has recorded three straight victories in the intervening two years, while Valdez won his featherweight strap with a second-round stoppage of Matias Carlos Adrian Rueda in July of 2016 and has since defended it on three occasions.

The Mexican power-puncher (23-0, 19KOs) was eliminated from the 2012 London Olympics by Ireland’s John Joe Nevin who went on to claim silver, and is a current gym-mate and sparring partner of Nevin’s compatriot and fellow Olympian Michael Conlan.

Valdez was recently touted as a potential opponent for another Irish fighter in Belfast’s Carl Frampton, and the winner of a prospective Valdez-Quigg clash in March would be a prime candidate to throw down with ‘The Jackal’ this winter or early next year should all go to plan for Quigg’s only conqueror in the first half of 2018.

Quigg’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, last night confirmed that he was close to agreeing a deal with Top Rank for the Lancashire man to square off with Valdez.

The fight is likely to take place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, meaning Quigg will truly be traveling into the lion’s den if he is to match old rival Frampton in becoming a two-weight world champion: Valdez trains alongside Conlan at Manny Robles’ The Rock Gym in the same city, which retains a massive Mexican population.

Quigg, however, has done some training in the same gym, and now operates predominantly out of Freddie Roach’s Wild Card facility in Hollywood.

Valdez will enter the contest on the back of tough but fair unanimous-decision victory over Filipino Genesis Servania (30-1, 13 KOs) in September in Tucson, Arizona – a card which featured Conlan’s spectacular knockout of unheralded Argentine Kenny Guzman.

Servania dropped a careless Valdez in the fourth round before touching down himself a round later, and lost on all three scorecards (117-109, 116-110, 115-111).

Quigg is 3-0 since moving up to 126 pounds following defeat to Frampton in Manchester.

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