Oscar Valdez goes to war with Miguel Marriaga
April 23, 2017
CARSON, CALIFORNIA - This past Saturday night, Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing brought fight fans a world championship triple header live from the Stubhub Center in Southern California.
Headlining the event from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico was undefeated WBO Featherweight Champion Oscar Valdez (22-0, 19 KO’s) as he battled the NABO Featherweight Champion Miguel Marriaga (25-2, 21 KO's) from Arjona, Colombia. Marriaga, whose only loss came by way of decision to former world champion Nicholas Walters in June of 2015, brought a war to Valdez from the opening bell. The Stubhub Center, which is no stranger to great fights, had electricity flowing through it for twelve solid rounds as the champion Valdez showed the resiliency and intestinal fortitude to stand toe-to-toe with the solid Colombian fighter. Valdez, who was making the second defense of his title, landed the cleaner more effective shots on the aggressor Marriaga throughout the fight.
In the tenth round the tide seemed to be turning in favor of Marriaga when Valdez countered with a solid left hook which floored Marriaga. Marriaga beat the count and Valdez continued to throw a barrage of punches, but as the round continued, Marriaga only got stronger in what was one of the best boxing rounds of the year. After twelve solid rounds of action the judges had it 119-108, 116-111, and 118-109 -- all in favor of the champion Valdez who went a full twelve rounds for the first time in his young career.
In the co-main event, the undefeated WBO Super Middleweight Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (35-0, 24 KO’s) of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico returned to action after a long layoff due to a hand injury to face Max Bursak (33-5-1, 15 KO’s) from Kiev, Ukraine. Ramirez, who won his world title in a shutout decision victory over titleholder Arthur Abraham last April, looked impressive in his comeback as he defended his title for the first time. Ramirez used good inside boxing despite having a huge height advantage and peppered Bursak with solid body shots and quick left hooks. In the early rounds, Bursak tried to use his strength to keep Ramirez on the ropes, but by fourth round, Ramirez effectively took control of the fight as Bursak never could figure the Southpaw Ramirez out. After twelve rounds of boxing, all three judges were in agreement with the score of 120-106 for Ramirez.
Also on the card was 2016 Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson as he made his professional debut against Edgar Brito (3-2-1, 2 KO’s) in a scheduled six-round featherweight bout. Stevenson, who has not fought since his gold medal bout in August of last year, dominated the fight despite having to deal with numerous illegal headbutts by Brito. Stevenson, who did seemed to by fighting debut nerves, used a solid jab and quick combinations to keep his opponent at bay. The fight was eventually stopped before the 6th round when the ringside doctor ruled Brito could not continue due to cuts caused by a clash of heads. Stevenson was ahead on all cards by the scores of 60-54 and subsequently came away with the technical decision. After the fight, Stevenson stated he felt great, but he has a lot to work on before he gets back into the ring on May 20 at Madison Square Garden. Stevenson was accompanied to the ring by Andre Ward and Claressa Shields, and walked out to "Hail Mary," by Tupac Shakur. Stevenson's mother named him after the rapper, who died nine months before her son was born.
To open up the PPV portion of the night, undefeated WBO junior featherweight champion Jessie Magdelano (25-0, 18 KO’s) made his first title defense against WBO Latino Champion Adeilson Dos Santos (18-3, 14 KO’s) of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Dos Santos, who was making his U.S. debut, walked into a lion's den as the champion Magdelano wasted no time in attacking and dismantling him. Magdelano caught Dos Santos late in the second round with a devastating combination and continued to hurt Dos Santos with a relentless attack before referee Lou Moret waved off the fight with nine seconds left in the round.
Other fights included:
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (debut) vs Victor Vasquez (7-2, 3 KO’s) 8 rounds Super Lightweights, Result: Gaibanzarov wins by 2nd round knockout, Gaibanzarov moves to (1-0, 1 KO)
Alexander Besputin (6-0, 5 KO’s) vs Breidis Prescott (30-9, 20 KO’s) 8 rounds Welterweights, Result: Besputin wins by unanimous decision and moves to (7-0, 5 KO’s)
Maxim Dadashiev (6-0, 5 KO’s) vs Bilal Mahasin (9-3-1, 1 KO) 8 rounds Super Lightweights, Result: Dadshiev wins by 3rd round KO. Dadashiev moves to (7-0, 6 KO’s)
Francisco Santana (24-5-2, 12 KO’s) vs Mahonri Montes (30-6-1, 20 KO’s) 10 rounds Welterweights. Result: Montes wins split decision and moves to (31-6-1, 20 KO’s)
Anthony "Stacks" Saldaña is a contributing writer for FrontProofMedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter @StacksRingside
(Feature photo: Cynthia Saldaña/Frontproof Media)