Born on December 22, 1990 in Nogales, Sonora, Oscar Valdez embodies the Mexican fighting style with his aggressiveness, as he continually comes forward and drills his opponents with sharp combinations. He had a solid amateur career, as he qualified for the 2008 Olympics when he was only 17. He didn’t medal, although he had the misfortune of facing the eventual gold medalist in his first match. In the 2008 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, he took gold. He also claimed the gold medal at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games. Competing in the Olympics again in 2012, he had more success, winning two matches, but still failed to medal.
Valdez decided to turn pro after that and had his first fight on November 3, 2012 against Angel Prado. It took him only two rounds to win the fight by TKO, as he showed off his considerable punching power. He fought again just over a month later, and the result was the same, a second-round TKO victory over Corben Page. After a couple months off, he fought on March 16, 2013 against Carlos Gonzalez, picking up a fourth-round TKO.
With the young boxer’s aggressive fighting style, high pace, and heavy hands, it made sense why Oscar Valdez put so many opponents away. His first nine fights were TKO victories, which earned him a shot at the NABF Junior super featherweight title on April 12, 2014 against the 10-4-1 Adrian Perez. He didn’t get the TKO this time – it was a KO, instead, as he showed off his knack for body shots with an excellent left hand dug right into the liver, and a right hand after it to seal the deal. Perez dropped to the ground, and although he was conscious, he was too badly hurt to even attempt to get up.
After one title defense which was another victory inside the distance, Valdez fought for the NABF Junior featherweight belt on July 26, 2014. He fought Juan Ruiz, who became the first boxer to take him to a decision. Oscar Valdez still won all eight rounds, though. He picked up where he left off after that, knocking out three more fighters and then winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Ruben Tamayo. With another two TKOs, he had built his record up to 18-0, and for that he got a chance to fight for the WBO-NABO featherweight title on April 9, 2016 against Evgeny Gradovich, who was 21-1-1 at the time. In a brutal beatdown, Valdez took control from the very beginning on his way to a fourth-round TKO.
With that win, he got his first shot at a world title, the WBO featherweight belt on July 23, 2016 against the 26-0 Matias Rueda. He used terrific body work to score two knockdowns in the first two rounds, and on the second, the referee waved off the fight. In the biggest fight of his life and against an undefeated opponent, Valdez showed his tremendous talent and finishing ability. He closed out 2016 with another TKO, this one in the seventh round against Hiroshige Osawa to defend his belt.