Frank Espinoza believes Oscar Valdez could move up to as high as lightweight

Oscar  Valdez

Oscar Valdez/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Making a splash in more than one weight class is popular is this day and age. Apparently, Oscar Valdez of Mexico is no different. Valdez on Nov. 5 will make the first defense of his featherweight world title when he takes on Hiroshige Osawa of Japan underneath the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas welterweight title fight at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on Top Rank pay-per-view, $59.95). But there is no telling how long Valdez will remain at 126 pounds.

“I think he is going to move up when it’s time,” said Valdez’s manager, Frank Espinoza. “I think his body will tell us when he’s ready to move up. But, yeah, I see him going to 130 (junior lightweight), 135 (lightweight). He still has youth on his side; we’ve got time.”

Interestingly, Espinoza said Valdez, 25, recently discussed a different idea with him.

“He’s even telling me, ‘What do you think? What about making 122?’ ” Espinoza said. “I go, ‘I don’t know. Can you really do that?’ But he’s a comfortable 126. So right now we’re enjoying the ride right here at 126. When it comes time to move up, we’ll talk and then
we’ll move him up.”

Valdez is 20-0 with 18 knockouts. Osawa, 31, is 30-3-4 with 19 knockouts.
 

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Jessie Magdaleno looks for first title, but will have hands full with Nonito Donaire

Jessie Magdaleno

Jessie Magdaleno/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

World-class boxer Jessie Magdaleno was born in Pomona, but he moved away at age 4 and has since called Las Vegas home.

“Vegas, it’s been good to me,” Magdaleno said. “It’s been a great city and I just have so many kid memories from there.”

It is therefore appropriate that Magadaleno will fight for his first world title in his backyard. He’ll challenge Nonito Donaire for his super bantamweight belt on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas welterweight title fight Nov. 5 at Thomas & Mack Center.

“It’s a huge opportunity for me,” Magdaleno said this week at an L.A. news conference.

That’s for sure. Donaire, of San Leandro via the Philippines, has won world titles in four weight classes. He’s more than likely going to one day be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Nevertheless, the undefeated Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KOs) speaks in undaunted tones about this shot.

“It’s a big challenge for me, but like I tell everybody, I have this vision and I feel like my age and my speed and my power is really going to overcome him,” Magdaleno said. “I take nothing from him. He’s a great fighter. He’s accomplished what he’s accomplished in the sport.

“But I believe it’s time there’s a new champion and I believe it’s me.”

Magdaleno, a southpaw, is just 24. Donaire (37-3, 24 KOs) is 33 and has been in plenty of ring wars. Frank Espinoza, Magdaleno’s West Covina-based manager, intimated his fighter has to go hard all the way through to take full advantage of his youth.

“We’ve gotta look to go all 12 rounds and wear him down because we are the younger fighter,” Espinoza said. “I think it’s his time and I believe Jessie Magdaleno is going to become a world champion Nov. 5.”

For Donaire, he’s stoked about fighting on the same card as Pacquiao for the first time. He also likes where his head is at, and he figures that’s bad news for Magdaleno.

“Most of all, I’m very excited for the mind-set that I have,” he said. “The person that’s within this ring, that’s going to be in that ring is a man who’s a king. And whoever steps in that ring, it’s my ring.”

This card will be available on Top Rank pay-per-view for $59.95.

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