Robson Conceição back to winning ways, eyes Oscar Valdez rematch

Robson Conceição

Mikey Williams

Robson Conceição did not experience a world title defeat hangover. Less than five months removed from a close decision loss to WBC super featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez, Conceição earned a one-sided decision over the previously undefeated Xavier Martinez in a 10-round WBC super featherweight title eliminator Saturday evening at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

Conceição (17-1, 8 KOs), ranked No. 3 by the WBC, won by scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. He outlanded Martinez (17-1, 11 KOs) in each of the final five rounds.

After the fight, Conceição called out for a rematch against Valdez.

“I’ve learned a lot from that Oscar Valdez loss, and that’s why I was able to dedicate myself,” Conceição said. “I wasn’t discouraged by what happened that evening.

“I know who I am, and I knew if I put in the work, I could have this type of performance. But my mind is set on Valdez, and I definitely want that shot.

“To be honest, I think Xavier Martinez punches harder than Oscar Valdez. I felt his punches, but I know this is the type of fight I needed to prepare myself because I’m a world champion level fighter. And I definitely want Oscar Valdez.”

Martinez had pockets of success, stunning Conceição in the fourth and ninth rounds. But the heavy blows were few and far between, as the 2016 Brazilian Olympic gold medalist ultimately showed his class.

Martinez said, “I thought it was closer. I know I didn’t do enough to win. But I sat back too much. I didn’t listen to the game plan fully. It is what it is. I’m not going to be a sore loser. He did his thing tonight. It wasn’t my night. I’m not done. This is just the beginning.”

Giovanni Cabrera
Mikey Williams

Cabrera Cruises Past Giron

Giovanni Cabrera (19-0, 7 KOs), who is trained by Freddie Roach, authored a one-sided boxing exhibition with a unanimous decision over Rene Tellez Giron (16-2, 10 KOs) in the eight-round junior welterweight co-feature (scores: 77-75 and 78-74 2x). Cabrera, from Chicago, returned to action for the first time since 2019 and ended Giron’s three-bout winning streak.

Giron rose to prominence with his 2019 knockout win over Karlos Balderas, but he showed up five pounds overweight Friday for his originally scheduled showdown against Luis Melendez. He was then matched with Cabrera, who weighed in at 138.6 and hopes to campaign as a lightweight moving forward.

Cabrera outlanded Giron, 141-122, and pulled away on the judges’ cards down the stretch.

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