The boxing God’s frowned upon Oscar Valdez during the 2022 calendar year. Prior to making his lone appearance against Shakur Stevenson, Valdez stood proudly as a two-division world champion.
Fresh off back-to-back wins against Miguel Berchelt and Robson Conceicao, Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) attempted to unify the super featherweight division. Although his record was unsullied through 30 pro fights, Valdez was easily outboxed by the former Olympic silver medalist.
Having tasted defeat for the very first time, Valdez took off the rest of the year to regroup. While he’s officially ready to jump back into the meat of things, the 32-year-old admits that his first career defeat took a toll on him.
“I’m pretty excited to be back,” said Valdez to Fight Hub TV during a recent interview. “Last year was a rough year, I had my first loss. It was rough on me.”
Originally, Valdez was set to return to action against Emanuel Navarrete for the vacant WBO super featherweight crown. However, during preparation, Valdez suffered a nasty fall in the comfort of his home, resulting in several cracked ribs and his subsequent removal from the card.
In the meanwhile, Navarrete took full advantage, nabbing the WBO title in a back-and-forth slugfest against Liam Wilson. Valdez, on the other hand, will officially return to the ring on May 20th against Adam Lopez, an opponent he once stopped in 2019.
Getting back on the winning track is unbelievably important to Valdez. But more than anything, he’s anxious to relive his glory days.
The smell of worn down and beaten up gloves, the nauseating feeling of a well-timed gut punch, and simply strolling through an arena with his name chanted loudly is what he craves. But, in addition to his senses flaring, Valdez is hoping that he’ll litter his shoulders with gold once again.
“I’m hungrier than ever. I miss being in the ring, I miss fighting. I miss being called champ. For this year, my goal is to become a world champion.”