Valdez gearing up for homecoming title defense

By Miguel Maravilla

WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (22-0, 19 KOs) of Tucson, Arizona by way of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico will make his homecoming as he takes on undefeated Filipino Genesis Servania (29-0, 12 KOs) this Friday at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona headlining the latest edition of Top Rank on ESPN. We caught up with the champ during camp where he spoke to us about his preparation and upcoming fight.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

“I am ready for this fight I am facing Genesis Servania, a tough Filipino fighter who is ranked fourth in the WBO. We are pretty excited for this and try to give it our best,” Valdez told Fightnews.comĀ®.

Valdez, a two-time Mexican Olympian in 2008 and 2012, was born in Mexico but raised across the border in Tucson, will be fighting there for the second time in his career returning to same venue he fought the last time in December of 2015, this time he returns as the champ ready to defend his title.

“It’s going to be great fighting at home. I promised my people that I will one day bring a belt back and now I am doing it I am really excited for that,” Valdez on his homecoming. “I expect both sides of the border to be there, especially my hometown Nogales, people from Hermosillo, Sonora, Phoenix. I am really excited for that and ready to put on a good show.”

Training in Southern California’s newest gym, Valdez has been preparing for his upcoming fight at the Legendz Boxing Gym in Norwalk, California with his trainer Manny Robles Jr., sparring with upcoming prospects, 2016 Irish Olympian Michael Conlan and Michael Dutchover as he gears up for Servania.

“We are training in a new gym with my team putting in the work training hard,” Valdez said about camp.

His undefeated opponent Servania will be making his U.S debut as he is coming off a TKO over Ralph Jhon Lulu this past April. His most notable win is over former world champion Alexander Munoz of Venezuela back in March of 2014.

“He’s a strong fighter. I’ve seen him fight before. He has knockout power and has the Filipino style throwing punches from different angles and all over the place but it’s nothing new to me. I’ve faced different styles in the amateurs,’ Valdez on Servania.

For Valdez, he is coming off a unanimous decision over Miguel Marriaga this past April at the Stub Hub Center in Carson as he successfully defended his title for the second time.

“It has been a great year for me. Now the opportunity to be on ESPN, this will bring me more fights,”

When asked about more fights, Valdez talked about fighting the other champions in the talented 126-pound featherweight division which include WBA super world champion Leo Santa Cruz, WBA world champion Abner Mares, WBC champion Gary Russell Jr. and IBF champion Lee Selby.

“The division is very stacked. Not looking past Genesis, but I would love to fight the guys that have the belts. I am ready for anybody,” Valdez stated.

First things first, and that is his next fight with Servania as he looks to give his hometown fans a spectacle. Valdez vs. Servania will be a scheduled 12 round championship bout for Valdez’s WBO title as he will be making his third title defense.

“You will see the same Oscar Valdez always giving it my best,” Valdez concluded.

Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla

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