One of the smaller weight division in boxing that has consistently produced exciting fights over the years is featherweight, 126 pounds. A name that will be floating atop the division by year’s end is none other than rising Mexican star Oscar Valdez, 21-0, 19 KO’s. Valdez is currently the World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight, 126 pounds, champion. Valdez picked up the belt when he dispatched of then undefeated Argentine, Matias Rueda in dominating fashion. Not only is Valdez on a roll but he’s winning in very exciting fashion. He seems to possess all of the tools needed to take him to the top of the featherweight division. He’s a legit champion with a combination of speed and power that would give anyone at 126 pounds problems. He destroyed Hiroshinge Osawa in his first WBO title defense and proved that he’s ready for the rest of the pack.
Given such, Abner Mares, 30-2-1, 15 KO’s, seems to be the perfect next challenge for Valdez. Mares has been one of the more accomplished fighters over the past several years having reigned supreme at bantamweight for a few years before settling at featherweight. Mares has been in many back and forth brawls and has always shown the grit and fight that would make any fight fan proud. His lone defeats came at the hands of Leo Santa Cruz and Jhonny Gonzalez. Mares just won a well boxed fight against the surging Jesus Cuellar in his last outing while picking up the World Boxing Association (WBA) ‘regular’ featherweight title. Mares showed that he still has the ability and will to compete at the highest of levels.
Valdez Vs Mares is the perfect match-up to give boxing fans an understanding at where both of these fighters stands when it comes to the top fighters at 126. On one hand, Valdez has the chance to solidify himself as a bonafide threat at 126 if he can defeat Mares. If he’s able to do so in spectacular fashion, the boxing die-hards will take complete notice. On the other hand, Mares seems to be in good spirits and having been successful in his last fight he wants to make his run at featherweight a lasting one, picking up the momentum he had at bantamweight. Mares wants the opportunity to get another shot at the top guys as featherweight and potentially a rematch with Leo Santa Cruz in what was an exciting first fight. My instincts tell me that Valdez is poised to take the throne and would be the victor should they meet up. That being said, Mares is without a doubt the more experienced fighter with a slew of high-level competition under his belt. Mares may have a few more tricks up his sleeves. 2017 has been off to a great start thus far so let’s keep the momentum going. Fight on my friends.Contact the Feature Writers