Well….any excitement that this bout was supposed to garner was replaced by controversy, frustration, and plenty of open-ended questions involving the Commission. Mexico’s WBC Super-Featherweight world titlist 🇲🇽Oscar Valdez (29-0-0, 23KO) riding high after his career-peak win over previously feared world titleholder 🇲🇽Miguel Berchelt – was littered with good press, and a new-found respect from pundits who had seen him take a drastic leap in technique in dominating an opponent, and had cemented himself as being an elite fighter when there was a time previous where his reputation jumped out ahead of his talent in a way where it didn’t accurately reflect where he was as an overall fighter.
All of those good virtues came to a abrupt halt when news came out that Valdez had tested positive for phentermine, a substance that is banned by the Voluntarily Anti-Doping Association (VADA). Technically phentermine isn’t a steroid, however it falls into the category of an amphetamine, which fits for various uses, such as increasing your heartrate, blood pressure, and for weight loss purposes.
The reason why it is banned by VADA is because a supplement such as phentermine can be used as a diuretic, which could assist in flushing the system out of whatever is in there, like a steroid, or a performance enhancer…and it can also provide added stamina when performing grueling physical tasks.
Oscar of course claims his innocence regarding the findings (who ever fesses up when there is wrongdoing in this regard), and there is no indeterminate way to know if there was any true foul play or not that took place given the nature of the circumstances, but being that this supplement falls under the guidelines of what is omitted in what is acceptable for boxers to take…then some form of punishment should be in order for the boxer in question going by guidelines stipulated.
Now with that said…the WBC is still going forward with sanctioning this bout as a title fight, which quite frankly puts yet another black eye on another sanctioning body that has forged a sour overall reputation in recent times.
Now, as for the fight itself…it is one that can prove to be very interesting, as Valdez will be set to make his “first title defense” at 130 lbs. against Brazilian 2016 Rio Di Janeiro ◯◯◯◯◯Olympic Gold-Medalist 🇧🇷Robson Conceição (16-0-0, 8KO), who has been looking for his shot.
He is actually older than Valdez at the age of 32, as he has embarked on his professional journey late, looking to forge some glory at the next level. He is not the most polished of the Gold-Medal contingent in the sport from a fundamentals perspective, having a bit of a wide delivery system, but he has very good timing, solid speed, is in excellent shape, and he appears to be very durable, willing to take, to give back.
The fight will take place out in Tucson, Arizona, at the Casino Del Sol. This will be the main event headliner on the card, and the bout will go down on Friday, September 10th. This one will be broadcast by ESPN+’s streaming application. There may be some backdrop in this bout with viewers showing their disdain by not tuning in, which is a respectable stance…but if you’re looking to watch it as a way to cut through the distractions, then this could be a solid, competitive fight to view, and packs a solid undercard.