Valdez, Frampton poised for Saturday showcase

Just days before they fight separate opponents at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, former two-weight world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton and former featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez discussed their respective 10-round super featherweight bouts on ESPN+.

Frampton Valdez Pose
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Valdez is a 33:1 favorite in his division debut against former world title challenger Andres Gutierrez, while Frampton is a 28:1 pick against the unbeaten Tyler McCreary.

Oscar Valdez

Valdez (26-0, 20 KOs) made six defenses of his WBO featherweight world title before moving up to seek challenges against the likes of Frampton and WBC world champion Miguel Berchelt.

On moving up to 130

“Making weight won’t be as difficult for me at 130 pounds. It won’t be easy, but not as hard as it was when I was fighting at 126. I have more energy in the gym and I feel healthy, which is the most important thing. You’ll see the difference in my fight Saturday against Andres Gutierrez.”

“I’ve been fighting at 126 my whole career, so it’s a long time coming. My last camps were more about cutting weight rather than training. It wasn’t healthy for me. I wasn’t eating much two, three days before the weigh-ins, so now I am in a much healthier position.”

On the future

“I want to fight Miguel Berchelt. Listen, there’s no personal beef there, but I feel like he’s the top guy at 130 pounds. I want to fight the best, and Berchelt is the best. I’m only focused on Gutierrez for now, but I also visualize the future.”

On Saturday’s fight

“Fans know I always give 100 percent in the ring, so you can expect a great battle on Saturday night. Andres Gutierrez is a tough guy who cannot be overlooked.”

Carl Frampton

Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs) is coming off nearly a one-year absence from the ring, as his planned August comeback bout was postponed after a freak accident at the fight hotel left him with a broken hand.

On the injury that postponed his August fight

“I was upset at the time. I felt like a whole camp had been wasted, time away from my family had been wasted. Look, you just have to deal with it and move on and kind of try and forget about it and move on. I’m looking forward to the fight. By the time the fight comes around, it will be {nearly} a year since I’ve been in the ring.”

On McCreary

“McCreary is a good, hungry, young, undefeated kid, and this is his big chance. If he beats me, I’m pretty sure in his next fight he’ll fight for a world title. It’s not going to happen. I’ve prepared very hard for this fight. I’ve prepared like I’m an underdog, and I am going in to put on a show. To be honest, I want to win this fight, but I want to knock this kid out.”

On his future plans

“I’ve had some huge fights in my career. No matter who the opponent is, it’s always going to be the biggest fight because of the situation I’m in now. It’s a must-win. I have to win this fight to fight a champion in my next fight. I want to fight for a world title in my next fight, so I must beat Tyler McCreary.”

“The plan is to become a three-weight world champion. That’s my goal. Ireland has a rich history in boxing champions. We’ve produced so many great fighters — and we’re still doing it — but to be the guy on top and be the first and only guy to win three titles in three different divisions, it would mean the world to me. I want nothing more than my kids to be proud of me and say that their dad is a three-weight world champion.”

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  • The betting odds in this case reflect the position of each fighter well.

    Valdez is an incredible combination puncher but he has certainly not reached his peak yet in terms of skills.

    Gutierrez is a live underdog because he has plenty of experience, much of it at this weight class.

    I think this will be a tough war, with Valdez winning on points only.

    Frampton hasn’t been fighting in a long time (a year or so), so he may have some ring rust. At the same time, his experience is incomparable with that of McCreary who hasn’t fought any elite fighter yet and is also not known for his punching power. I haven’t seen a McCreary fight yet but it looks like an easy decision for Frampton.

    Both fights should be entertaining and I am looking fwd to them.

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