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jcy123 Offline

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02.03.2019 03:30
se Luis Castillo.And like so many boxing fans he also loved the rivalry between Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, who waged thr Antworten

As a young boy, featherweight contender Oscar Valdez was enamored by boxing and, as a Mexican growing up in Tucson, Arizona, his favorite fighters were not surprisingly world champion countrymen Erik Morales, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Jose Luis Castillo.And like so many boxing fans he also loved the rivalry between Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, who waged three epic title fights that will be a big part of their legacies when the International Hall of Fame eventually beckons them. Valdez watched their fights and dreamed of winning a world title like they had.Now all grown up at age 25, Valdez has his chance to win the world title he has dreamed of. With Vasyl Lomachenko relinquishing his featherweight title after moving up in weight and winning a junior lightweight belt on June 11, Valdez (19-0, 17 KOs) will square off with Argentinas Matias Adrian Rueda (26-0, 23 KOs) for the vacant title on Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The fight is the co-feature to the Terence Crawford-Viktor Postol junior welterweight title unification fight.It would be a dream come true, Valdez said of winning the belt. Ive dreamed of it since I first stepped in the ring. I watched Morales and Barrera fight and I said I wanted to be one of those big names. I would picture myself being like them inside the ring. I was more of an Erik Morales guy. I rooted for him but I respected Barrera also. They were both great fighters and I want to be like them.Valdez, who represented Mexico in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics -- the only two-time Olympic boxer in the nations history -- became an even bigger Morales fan when he had a chance to meet him as an amateur.I met him a couple of times and they were great experiences. He gave me tips on fighting when I was amateur, he said. It was very exciting for me. I also got to meet Julio Cesar Chavez and Castillo, my idols. They all said Ill be a future world champion. For them to say that means a lot to me. They were greats in boxing, so it was motivation knowing theyve got faith in me.Valdez said he first met Morales at an amateur tournament in San Diego. Morales, who is from nearby Tijuana, took a liking to Valdezs pressure style that was reminiscent of his own.They asked him who he liked the best on the Mexican team and he said, I like the bantamweight, said Valdez, a bantamweight at the time. That meant a lot to me. Now I have a chance to win this title as a professional in the same weight class Morales was champion in. Thats big for me.Top Rank signed Valdez out of the 2012 Olympics and has considered him one its top prospects from that Olympic class along with lightweight Felix Verdejo and junior welterweight Jose Ramirez. So far, Valdez has lived up to the expectations but with one more big step to take -- winning that 126-pound title.I think it would be tremendous for him to win that title, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. Oscar is recognized all over Mexico as a double Olympian. Hes very, very well thought of and the people in Tucson are crazy about him. Theres a whole delegation coming to Las Vegas to go to the fight and to talk to me about doing his first title defense in Tucson if he wins. We know this is a big fight for Valdez. Its extraordinarily important and if he wins the title he will be very, very difficult to dislodge.When told that Valdez idolized Morales, Arum, who promoted Morales for most of his career, said he sees some similarities between them.I think their styles are somewhat similar in that theyre not wild-swinging guys, Arum said. Theyre guys who throw straight punches and are effective. They have a style thats what I call contained aggression.Arum said he takes satisfaction in bringing prospects from the amateurs to professional world titles. Top Rank has done it over and over and over for the past several decades and he is hoping Valdez can join the long list that includes Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and many others.Thats our job. As a promoter that is our most important function that we do, Arum said. Thats why we are able to attract a lot of these prospects. They know we have a track record of succeeding.Valdez plans to do his part after scoring his biggest win in his last fight when he wiped out former featherweight world titlist Evgeny Gradovich in the fourth round of a dominant showing.I definitely feel ready. Im very excited, Valdez said. I think Ive been ready for a shot at the world title so Im relaxed. I just listened to my manager, Frank Espinoza. Hes an expert. Im very grateful to him and to Top Rank for getting me this chance to fight for a world title.Valdez said he feels he has been ready for ages to fight for a title, going back to not long after he turned pro in late 2012. The reason is because he said he held his own in spirited sparring with top fighters such as Leo Santa Cruz, Orlando Salido and Lee Selby, all of whom won featherweight



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