Valdez vs Wilson Predictions: Call it a comeback for Oscar

 | March 28 | 

4 mins read

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Oscar Valdez hits the comeback trail this Friday March 29 as he fights Liam Wilson live on Sky Sports Arena. The two-weight world champion headlines the Desert Diamond Arena in Phoenix Arizona, which also hosted his previous bout. Valdez lost that one and is looking to get back on track here before pursuing world honours once more. Here are my Valdez vs Wilson predictions ahead of this super featherweight showdown.

Valdez vs Wilson Tips

  • Valdez by knockout @ 15/8
  • Fight to go the distance - No @ 5/4

Valdez ran into the whirlwind that is Emmanuel Navarrete last time out, losing a wide unanimous decision to the WBO super featherweight king. Navarrete actually won that title against Wilson, when the pair clashed to fill the vacancy a year ago. Friday’s fight is a vital component of the rebuild for two men who want to ensure those losses weren’t their last world title fights.

That feeling of entering the last chance saloon is stronger for Valdez. While Wilson is a comparatively-youthful 28 years of age, the Mexican is 33. He has contested a lifetime’s worth of hard fights, including 11 world championship contests. Something has to give and there were signs in the Navarrete reverse that something had. 

Those telltale indicators of decline first came to the forefront in 2022. Valdez suffered the first loss of his decorated career in a WBC/WBO super featherweight unification fight with Shakur Stevenson. There was no shame in being beaten by a fighter tipped to one day top the pound-for-pound list. But the way Valdez was utterly dominated by the younger man seemed to indicate his best days had sharply and dramatically ended. 

Valdez rebuilt against a familiar foe, but even that keep-busy bout pointed at the sun setting over his once-unbeatable aura. Valdez had a rematch with Adam Lopez, a frequent “opponent” type for big names needing a boost. Valdez had already beaten him in seven rounds back in 2019. Last year, he needed all 10 to get the job done via decision. As statements go, it was more a harbinger of doom for Valdez despite his dominant display.

This fight has banana-skin potential for the Mexican. Australia’s Wilson might have succumbed in nine rounds to Navarrete, but not before knocking him down. A short left started the damage before a follow-up flurry sent the favourite to the mat. 

It was no flash knockdown. In fact, Wilson gave a good account of himself throughout the night with multiple periods of sustained pressure. A thrilling back-and-forth fight ended in the ninth when a Navarrete flurry saw Wilson succumb. But the stoppage defeat didn’t tell the whole story. Navarrete, a quality champion, had been thoroughly tested.

Can Wilson put on a similar display against Valdez? His career is something of an oddity. He has only competed outside his native Australia once, in the Navarrete fight. Wilson was also stopped in five rounds by the ordinary Joe Noynay. The Queensland fighter avenged the defeat in two rounds in a rematch, but coupled with the Navarrete result it paints a picture of a man who possibly has some chin issues.

Valdez is a stern test of any fighter’s beard. He has collected 23 knockouts across his 31 wins. The Mexican won each of his two world titles by stoppage. Valdez snared the WBO featherweight belt with a second-round knockout of Matias Rueda in 2016. Then in 2021 he halted Miguel Berchelt for the WBC super featherweight strap. This is a fighter capable of securing the stoppage in dramatic circumstances.

But at the age of 33 and having lost his last two world title fights, does that fire still burn? Is Valdez’s race run? All things being equal, he is the superior fighter when pitched against Wilson. He has a wealth of world title experience, the greater power and a more robust set of skills. But this fight could come down to that old cliche of “who wants it more?”. 

I think both want this and the action will be dramatic and absorbing while it lasts. I can see Valdez coming unstuck in the near future as he enters his autumn years but not here. I feel like the Mexican has enough left in the tank to come through against a brave opponent who is ultimately a little out of his depth. 

If pressed, I’m leaning towards Valdez to get the stoppage, but not before possibly getting hurt or troubled himself. Valdez to win by stoppage is priced at 15/8. A world title shot will likely follow, though I wouldn’t be as confident in him winning that.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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