WBC junior lightweight world titlist Oscar Valdez defends his belt against Robson Conceicao on Friday (ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET, with undercard fights starting at 6:10 p.m. ET) in Tucson, Arizona.
Valdez tested positive for the banned substance phentermine in August, but the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Athletic Commission allowed Valdez to fight at the Casino Del Sol. The WBC decided not to strip Valdez of his title, stating that “this is not a performance-enhancing drug” and that “Valdez will have absolutely no advantage and the challenger will have no risk.”
Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs), 30, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, won the title by defeating Miguel Berchelt by a 10th-round TKO in February, in a great performance.
Conceicao (16-0, 8 KOs), 32, of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, has won three of his last five fights by stoppage, including a seventh-round TKO victory over Jesus Antonio Ahumada in April.
Also on the card, WBO flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (21-0, 16 KOs), 23, of Inabe-gun, Mie, Japan, faces power puncher Angel Acosta (22-2, 21 KOs), 30, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in a 12-round battle. Top prospects Gabriel Flores Jr., Xander Zayas and Lindolfo Delgado will also be in action in separate bouts.
Stay here for live undercard results and analysis.
Fight in progress: Xander Zayas vs. Jose Luis Sanchez, 6 rounds, junior middleweights
Lindolfo Delgado def. Miguel Zamudio by second-round TKO
Fight recap coming up …
Giron scores late KO over Garza
Rene Tellez Giron broke down Eduardo Garza before scoring a knockout in Round 7, the result of a brutal left hook to the body.
Giron (16-1, 10 KOs) delivered a short right uppercut, a throw-away punch meant to bring Garza’s hands down, before slipping the liver shot in, sending Garza to the mat in agony. The 22-year-old Mexican scored a shocking upset of Carlos Balderas in 2019 on the heels of his first professional defeat earlier that year, a unanimous-decision loss to impressive prospect Michel Rivera. Suddenly, Giron is a fighter to watch at 130 pounds.
Garza (15-5-1, 8 KOs), a 32-year-old native of Dover, Delaware, has now lost three straight.
Aguilar stops Portillo to stay unbeaten
Omar Aguilar improved to 22-0 (21 KOs), 22, with a second-round KO of Carlos Manuel Portillo. The lanky 140-pounder scored a knockdown in the closing seconds of Round 1, and then finished him off with two more knockdowns in the opening moments of the second round.
Following the third knockdown, Portillo was favoring his right eye while on the canvas as the ref reached the count of 10. A compact left uppercut inflicted the damage on the eye and gained Aguilar the win in his first fight outside of his native Mexico.
Portillo (22-4, 17 KOs), 28, a native of Paraguay, lost for the fourth time in his last five fights.
Still to come:
Title fight: Oscar Valdez vs. Robson Conceicao, 12 rounds, for Valdez’s WBC junior lightweight title
Gabriel Flores Jr. vs. Luis Alberto Lopez Vargas, 10 rounds, junior lightweights
Title fight: Junto Nakatani vs. Angel Acosta, 12 rounds, for Nakatani’s WBO flyweight title