Scott Quigg (34-1-2, 25KOs) attempts to become a 2-weight division world champion on Saturday night against WBO featherweight holder Óscar Valdez (23-0, 19KOs) at the StubHub Centre, Carson, California USA.
The 29-year old will need to be at the top of his game if he is to snatch the title from the dangerous Mexican.
Both fighters are ranked as the third best in their counties with Quigg just behind Carl Frampton and Lee Selby and Óscar Valdez behind world number one Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares.
The featherweight division is littered with excellent talent with a majority of the top fighters coming from the UK and Mexico. In fact there is only one fighter that features in the top 8 that doesn’t reside from those shores and that is American Gary Russell Jr.
Quigg who comes from Bury, a small town in Greater Manchester will be the main event on his American debut. It will be a new experience but one that I believe he will take in his stride.
With 37 pro fights under his belt, 186 rounds fought and a knockout ratio of 68% plus a combined opponent record of 551-248-43 the Brit should be well equipped for the challenge ahead.
The challenger has an orthodox stance and stands at 5’ 8” which is just over 2 inches taller than his opponent and has a 3 inch reach advantage. Although I doubt his reach will come into play as Quigg is not the sort of fighter to jab his way to victory.
The champion Óscar Valdez has had 23 bouts, fought 111 rounds and has a 83% knockout ratio. His combined opponents total reads 338-100-20 and has held the WBO featherweight strap since 2016.
This is a step up in class for the Mexican who is being branded as the future star of the featherweight division. But chosing Quigg as his mandatory defence could well be a mistake.
This fight has all the makings of a potential fight of the year. Valdez is known for his all-out-aggression and Quigg has a tendency to throw caution to the wind and have an all out war.
I am expecting an epic battle between two fighters that are eager to impress in a strong division. I do think Scott Quigg’s experience will give him the edge. We have seen a different animal since the Carl Frampton defeat and one that will not leave any stone unturned.
My expectation is that both fighters will touch the canvas at some point but the Englishman will show the American viewers a solid chin and upset the apple cart with a late knockout victory.
In another intriguing matchup on the undercard we have up and coming super-featherweight Erick De Leon (17-0, 10KOs) facing undefeated Andy Vences (20-0, 12KOs).
In the welterweight division Mike Reed (23-1, 12KOs) is hoping to get back to winning ways after defeat in his last fight is up against American Arnold Barboza Jr (17-0, 6KOs).
Enjoy the fights all