Albert Baker
Photo: Jason/Decomp

Oscar Valdez 20-0 18KO’s is the new WBO Featherweight champion of the world.

In a display of speed, power, and precise punching Valdez destroyed undefeated Argentinian Matias Rueda 26-1 23KO’s to win the WBO title that was vacated by Vasyl Lomachenko. Valdez threw precise left hooks that couldn’t miss Rueda, hurting him early and often. A left hook to the body put a visibly hurt Rueda down early in the second to signal the beginning of the end. Rueda would beat the count but Valdez would drop him again moments later with another hard left hook to body ending the fight at 2:18 of the second round.

An emotional Valdez after the fight said “It’s a dream come true, if you work hard you can accomplish your dreams.” HBO’s Max Kellerman asked Valdez what he wanted next, Valdez said “I want to fight the best, I’ll fight Lomachenko’ “I repeat, I’ll fight anybody”.

Jose Benavidez Jr 25-0 16KO’s laid on the ropes and counter punched his way to a unanimous decision win over veteran journeyman Francisco “Chia” Santana 24-5-1 12KO’s. Benavidez came out firing in the first round landing big shots that rocked the head of Santana.

Santana would get his motor going as Benavidez retreated to the ropes in the same fashion that garnered him criticism following past victories. Santana pounded away on the arms and elbows of Benavidez occasionally squeaking a hook through the tight guard of Benavidez. Benavidez was clearly the more talented of the two but used his talent sparingly to make many on media row to ponder the question; is it a stamina issue or is he just that confident in his ability?

After ten judge Adalaide Byrd amazingly scored the fight 100-90, Kermit Bayless had it 96-94, and Glenn Feldman scored the bout 98-92. InstanBoxing.com unofficial score card was 96-94 for Benavidez Jr. Benavidez has real talent and can put his punches together extremely well, the way he languishes on the ropes regularly will get him wins against limited fighters like Santana but, against elite level competition Benavidez will need to use his long jab and boxing ability more.

Ukranian light heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk 11-0 9 KO’s survived a first round knockdown in the stiffest test of his short career against Tommy Karpency 26-5-1 15KO’s. Opening the pay per view telecast Gvozdyk had a rough start after being dropped hard by a right hand from Karpency. Karpency followed up and timed left hands to continue to land on the Ukraninan.

After the fourth round Gvozdyk shook off the cobwebs and got his offense on track to become the aggressor and take control of the fight. Late in the sixth Gvozdyk landed a hard shot to the body that dropped Karpency. Karpency wouldn’t get up from the shot ending the fight at 2:21 in the sixth.

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