Jair Valtierra has been down and out, but he believes a future awaits him in a new weight class.
Valtierra will face unbeaten Nestor Bravo tonight at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida. The 10-round bout will headline a ‘Night of Champions II’ card that will air tape-delay Sunday night on CBS Sports Network (10:30 p.m. ET/ 7:30 p.m. PT).
In his last bout on July 15, Valtierra lost by unanimous decision to unbeaten lightweight Raymond Muratalla. Despite being dropped in the fourth round, Valtierra fought on valiantly, stayed in the pocket and, at some points, outboxing Muratalla late in the fight.
Valtierra (16-2, 8 knockouts), who resides in Leon, Mexico, has been eager to return to the ring as soon as possible. Rather than take an easier fight, Valtierra asked to face a top fighter, even if it was moving up in weight.
Promoter ‘Tuto’ Zabala believes Valtierra can not only rebound from the tough loss to Muratalla, but upset and defeat an unbeaten fighter in Bravo.
“Jair is a young kid with a lot of ambition to come out on top,” Zabala told Boxingscene Thursday. “He prepared very well for this fight with trainer Guillermo ‘Memo’ Enriquez in Mexico City and sparring against (fringe junior welterweight contender) Antonio Moran at Tactical Fitness Gym.
“He (Jair) asked for a good opportunity immediately with fights to prepare against the likes of Bravo to demonstrate what type of fighter he is. A win will mean a lit because beating Bravo would put him amongst the best in the division.”
The 21-year-old had fought on a handful of Boxeo Telemundo telecasts in the Mexico City area, including victories over Cesar Soriano and Jose Hernandez Rizo. In May 2021, Valtierra knocked out former contender Emanuel Lopez. He suffered his first setback as a pro three months later, losing by knockout to Alberto Ruiz.
Valtierra made his pro debut in July 2018, less than four months before his 17th birthday.
Bravo (21-0, 15 KOs), who resides in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, dropped Adrian Yung once en route to a seventh round knockout win in his last bout on October 26.
In the co-feature, Antonio Vargas (15-1, 8 KOs), who resides in nearby Kissimmee and is a 2016 U.S. Olympian, will square off against Venezuela’s Michell Banquez (20-2, 14 KOs) in a 10-round bantamweight bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing