Oscar Valdez retained his WBC super-featherweight title in the most controversial circumstances possible. The damage, sadly for him, had already been done.
Robson Conceicao turned up for the fight of his life despite Valdez testing positive for Phentermine in the wake of the battle.
WBC chiefs allowed the fight to take place following a meeting with the Commission. Fans and media protested to no avail.
On fight night Friday evening, Valdez scored a unanimous decision 117-110 and 115-112 twice after taking over the second half of the contest.
Punch stats didn’t agree with the verdict. However, total fight punches have never scored a fight. Valdez did enough – just.
The Brazilian Olympian gold medalist battled hard, although Conceicao just lost out on adding the world crown to his amateur achievements.
In front of a sold-out crowd of 4,545 at Casino Del Sol, Valdez scored a successful first defense, who stunned Miguel Berchelt to become the champion via knockout earlier this year.
Conceicao (16-1, 8 KOs) appeared to take the early lead, but as the fight approached the second half, the come-forward Valdez narrowed the gap and overtook the upstart.
One judge had Valdez winning the final seven rounds, while another had Valdez winning six of the last seven.
Adding insult to injury, Conceicao had a point deducted for a rabbit punch in the ninth round. Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) survived with his title intact and now looks toward a potential unification match with the winner of the October 23 bout between WBO champion Jamel Herring and unbeaten star Shakur Stevenson.
Top Rank chairman Bob Arum confirmed he’s open to it.
“If the fighters want the fight, I have no problem putting Oscar in with the winner of Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson.”
In the aftermath, Valdez, who still faces a tough challenge to repair his reputation, got embroiled in a war of words with Conceicao.
“He’s over here yelling in my face. We’re grown, men. Don’t be yelling in my face,” said Valdez.
“He might be upset. Of course, you want to be a world champion, but don’t point at me, don’t be yelling in my face.”
OSCAR VALDEZ CONTROVERSY
Admitted the build-up did affect him, Valdez added: “I’ve been through enough this week, man. It makes the fight complicated when someone is trying to run the whole fight.
“I’m trying to put on a good show for my fans, give the fans what they want, which is a good fight. If he wants to run, you can’t win a fight running like that.”
On Stevenson vs. Herring, he concluded: “We all want the winner of Shakur Stevenson and Jamel Herring. Let’s do it.”
Furthermore, Conceicao – for his part, was undoubtedly disappointed.
“This is boxing. I cannot go with his game. I played my game. Look at his face and look at my face. I have nothing on my face. Oscar Valdez is all fu—- up. I won this fight.”