Jose “Rayo” Valenzuela was a hot-shot lightweight prospect before Edwin De Los Santos got his hands on him.

In September of 2022, both men hit the canvas in the second round. With De Los Santos having his legs underneath him a bit more, he sent Valenzuela to the pavement once more in the third before closing the show just a few seconds later.

Valenzuela was despondent. Coming to grips with the first loss of his career was a tough pill to swallow but he found a way to move on. In the immediate aftermath, he took on trash-talking fringe contender, Chris Colbert.

Although it was on the controversial side, Colbert picked up the win, sending Valenzuela to his second consecutive defeat. Unlike his loss to De Los Santos, Valenzuela refused to simply walk away. He pushed the needle, becoming obtrusive to Colbert, and was eventually given the rematch.

This time around, Valenzuela told the three judges sitting ringside to take a coffee break as he scored a violent and concussive knockout victory in the sixth this past weekend.

For the 24-year-old, a win over Colbert was salient, but a few days before officially taking him on again, the WBA sanctioning body made things more interesting, making their rematch a title eliminator.

From the moment Colbert’s lifeless body bounced off the canvas, Valenzuela was already envisioning a date with Gervonta Davis, the lightweight division’s WBA titleholder. Davis, of course, has been busy going back and forth with Devin Haney. But while nothing is set in stone, Valenzuela is hoping that Haney will be placed on the back burner and he’ll receive his chance at one of the biggest names in boxing.

If all else fails, fighting De Los Santos is something that interests him. The Dominican was the first man to leave an indelible stain on Valenzuela’s record. Revenge is a motivating factor for the rising contender but before he jumps back into the ring with De Los Santos, Valenzuela plans on using the wait-and-see approach with Davis.

“Sure, I do want a rematch with Edwin De Los Santos," explained Valenzuela to "But I want my title shot first.”