TUCSON, Ariz. (July 20, 2021) – Mexican champion Oscar Valdez was the author of a withering knockout in February of Miguel Berchelt to be crowned super featherweight world champion of the WBC. For his first title defense, the undefeated, two-time Olympian will return home to the desert.
Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs) will look to go 30 of 30 against undefeated Brazilian Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceição on Friday, September 10 from the AVA Amphitheater at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona.
Originally from Nogales, Mexico, Valdez moved to Tucson as a child and spent his elementary school years there before returning to Mexico.
In the 10-round co-feature, undefeated junior lightweight Gabriel Flores Jr. of Stockton, California will fight Mexican veteran Luis Alberto Lopez. The Valdez vs. Conceição and Flores Jr. vs. López will air live and exclusively on ESPN + at 10 pm ET / 7 pm PT.
In a Top Rank promotion, tickets starting at $ 25 go on sale Tuesday, July 27 at 10 am MST and can be purchased by visiting Etix.com.
“Oscar Valdez is coming off the best show of his career and he wants to put on a spectacular performance in front of the big Tucson fans,” said legendary Top Rank promoter Bob Arum. “Conceição has been waiting for this opportunity since he turned professional, and having promoted him throughout his career, I know he will be in his prime. We have a great co-feature fight, since the young Flores wants to show that he is a contender to follow, and he can do it by beating the tough Mexican Luis Alberto López ”.
Valdez solidified his status as one of the faces of Mexican boxing with his 10th round knockout of veteran champion Berchelt. He is 8-0 in world title fights, including six defenses for the WBO featherweight world title he won in July 2016. Valdez and Conceição fought as fans in the Pan American Games gold medal fight. from 2009, with Conceição prevailing by a single point. Valdez turned professional almost four years before Conceição (16-0, 8 KOs), who made history as the first Brazilian boxer to capture Olympic gold. Originally from Bahia, Conceição made his professional debut in November 2016 on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas and knocked out four of his first five enemies. Last October, he survived an early knockdown to beat Louie Coria by unanimous decision. He last fought on April 10 in Tulsa and knocked out Jesús Antonio Ahumada in the seventh round.
“I am very excited to fight in my second home, Tucson, Arizona, where I will have my first defense of the WBC super featherweight world title,” Valdez said. “It motivates me to know that I will defend the title in front of my friends and my family, and I will be willing to risk everything and die in the line, as in all my fights. I come to give a great show to my people, and I can’t wait to see them on September 10. “
Conceição said: “I have been waiting all my life for this opportunity and that is why I am training with great determination. I will represent my family and Brazil. I have already won a gold medal for my country and now I will bring home a world title. With great determination, I will put on a great performance. It will be a real show! ”.
Flores (20-0, 7 KOs) made history in 2017 when, at age 16, he became the youngest fighter to sign a promotional contract with Top Rank. He went 3-0 in 2020, including a decision over Matt Conway on the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II undercard. Flores performed three times inside MGM Grand Las Vegas’s “La Burbuja”, marked by a sixth-round knockout of former world title challenger Jayson Velez in February. López (22-2, 12 KOs), of Mexicali, Mexico, has won five consecutive bouts since his 2019 decision loss to Rubén Villa. He achieved his signature victory last July with a split decision over Andy Vences.
“This is the next step on my path to a world title, and I will convincingly beat Lopez,” Flores said. “I am going to prove once again that I am ready for the next level.”
Lopez said: “I appreciate matchmaker Brad Goodman and Top Rank for the opportunity to fight Gabriel Flores Jr. I know he will be prepared to give it his all on September 10, but so am I, and I guarantee nothing but the best of me. I am a man of few words, and I will let my actions speak inside the ring. “
The preliminary fights will be broadcast live and exclusively on ESPN +, and will feature undefeated WBO flyweight world champion from Japan Together Nakatani (21-0, 16 KOs) defending his title against former Puerto Rican world champion Ángel “Tito” Acosta (22-2, 21 KOs). Nakatani, who has never fought outside of Japan, knocked out Filipino contender Giemel Magramo in eight rounds last November to win the vacant world title. A former Japanese flyweight champion, Nakatani has won four consecutive bouts by stoppage. Acosta, who made three successful defenses for the WBO junior flyweight crown, has won two fights since a debated last-round loss at the hands of Elwin Soto. Acosta was leading all three scorecards when he was stopped on his feet early in the round.
The ESPN + preliminaries will also see undefeated Puerto Rican prospect Xander Zayas (9-0, 7 KOs) make his 154-pound debut in a six-round fight. Zayas will face an opponent to be named at junior middleweight.
Additionally, lightweight sensation Raymond Muratalla (12-0, 10 KOs) will also see action in an eight-round clash.
Also slated to appear in eight-round bouts: 2016 Mexican Olympian and now junior welterweight prospect Lindolfo Delgado (12-0, 11 KOs), rising junior lightweight René Telléz Girón (15-1, 9 KOs) ) and junior welterweight knockout artist Omar Aguilar. (21-0, 20 KOs).