Oscar Valdez Secures Win Amidst Doping Scandal
Oscar Valdez (30-0, 23 KO’s) made a successful first defense of his WBC super featherweight title. The Mexican boxer accomplished this by outpointing the previously undefeated Robson “Nino” Conceicao (16-1, 8 KO’s) by way of strenuous unanimous decision. Unfortunately for Valdez, there was little attention given the contest at hand. Instead he was submerged in questions surrounding the pair of his recent failed drug tests.
In the final few weeks before this duel with Conceicao, it was revealed that the WBC 130-pound champion was flagged with phentermine in his system. The story then ballooned into a social media frenzy when the WBC bizarrely opted to turn a blind eye to the clear-cut situation. Rather than abide by their own Clean Boxing Program protocols, or listen to VADA who runs said program, the WBC essentially said, ‘Valdez wouldn’t do that,’ and did nothing. As a result, the Mexican was allowed to fight as the WBC champion with zero repercussions.
As for Robson Conceicao, who was ranked #13 and (WBO) #14 (WBC), this was a heartbreaking loss. Not only did he lose his “0”, the Brazilian was looking to repeat his amateur success over Valdez. Back before going professional, the former Olympic gold medalist enjoyed a 2009 win over the champion. It is unclear what the Brazilian will do for his next outing, yet Nino still has time to rebound from this detrimental setback.
A FIGHT OF TWO HALFS
The opening round was more or less mundane as the two men found their bearings. Of the two though, it was Conceicao who seemed to be the most comfortable. As Valdez attempted to breach the Brazilians perimeter, he was consistently met with a thudding jab. Conceicao made the exaggerated point of looking to score his own offense whenever Valdez did land. Along with the jab, Nino was going to the body well and regularly.
By the fourth, Conceicao was oozing with confidence. While he was not exactly showboating, the way that he floated around the ring and held his body at times made it clear that he was in his groove. Valdez was already having trouble landing notable offense. Now that Conceicao was using the whole ring, his connect percentage dropped dramatically. In the fifth round, the Brazilian was flat out clowning for the crowd and was sacrificing his momentum to do so.
ROAD RUNNER DELRIUM
While Conceicao retained his mobile fight style and mugging for the crowd, the champ enjoyed a good sixth round. By the eighth, Valdez was firmly in control. The Brazilian was no longer going tit-for-tat with the champion, now he preferred to potshot and slide. The Mexican stalked with a purpose and sank a steady diet of right hooks into Nino’s body. In the ninth round, Robson Conceicao was deducted a petty point from referee Tony Zaino.
True, while in a clinch, the Brazilian tapped Valdez on the back of the head. Suddenly without warning, damage or really even earnest malice, Zaino snatched a point from Conceicao. Ultimately though, it made little difference in the overall outcome. Valdez supplied the better, heavier offense while Conceicao retreated and tried to entertain the crowd with everything but punches. When the final cards were read, Valdez walked away with a 117-110, 115-112 (twice) unanimous decision win.
It’s likely that Oscar Valdez will fight the upcoming winner of the fight between WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring versus Shakur Stevenson. This is the fight that Valdez called for during his post-fight interview.
By: Bakari Simpson