Oscar Valdez Steps Up, Stops Chris Avalos

Oscar Valdez probably got an HBO date prematurely in his last bout, where he was less-than-stellar as a much-ballyhooed prospect against unheralded Ruben Tamayo. (Maybe Tamayo was better than his resume, too.) Chris Avalos? He was a busted prospect but still pretty experienced, arguably a junior featherweight contender. Friday on truTV, on the smaller network against the better opponent on paper, Valdez shined, stopping Avalos in the 5th.

Avalos was probably an easier match-up in a way. His head is a magnet for punches; he basically never dodges. Valdez isn’t a huge puncher but because he puts leverage on every shot, someone walking straight into them is going to give them more power. And walk straight forward Avalos did, deciding that he was going to outbrawl Valdez. It probably was his only chance. He wasn’t going to outbox him, that’s for damn sure.

But by the 3rd, Avalos felt the punches piling up, and a big left hook toward the end of the round put him down. It looked as though he might not be able to continue, but he was recharged some in the 4th. Again, around the end of the round, he was not feeling great. And early in the 5th, wobbled by a combo that included another left hook. Referee Russell Mora stepped into stop it; most felt it was an appropriate call.

All in all, nice showing from Valdez, keeping in mind a favorable match-up. It’s a nice step forward, but we need to see him against this level of opponent for a while, albeit a greater diversity of them — better boxers, or bigger punchers.

(Valdez leaps over Avalos; via)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.