Quigg vs Valdez: Scott Quigg loses unanimous decision to Oscar Valdez in California
Last Updated: 11/03/18 12:31pm
Scott Quigg's Californian nightmare ended in further disappointment as he lost a unanimous points decision to Oscar Valdez.
The Bury fighter also revealed a fractured foot in the build-up was behind his failure to make the weight and challenge for the WBO featherweight title, on a rain-soaked night in Carson, California.
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Quigg was apologetic before and after the 12-round war but emerged with great credit. However, Valdez held on to his unbeaten record with the 117-111, 117-111, 118-110 scorecards in his favour.
The Mexican is still the WBO champion at 126lbs and with former holder Vasyl Lomachenko and an expectant crowd ignoring the torrential rain that threatened to call the card off, he showed his class.
Quigg though had Valdez in serious trouble in the fifth and 11th rounds, using his experience and understandable weight advantage to give the favourite his toughest test so far.
It turned out to be a case of pressure against precision and in the opening two rounds, Valdez's rapid combinations and accurate shots saw him take control.
Quigg's left eye was marked up early on but slowly he managed to close the range, stifling the champion's classy combinations with an occasional body shot sneaking home as he turned to his trademark non-stop approach.
He might have been behind on the cards but the fifth round saw Quigg land a short left hook and then a glancing, but sturdy, right that had Valdez stumbling, struggling to regain his balance.
However, the champion tended to produce an impressive response whenever he got caught - even though Quigg's size enabled him to almost throw Valdez to the canvas in the sixth. The Mexican's combinations, straight rights and clever uppercuts underlined his talent.
Valdez did seem to tire in the eighth but even though Quigg managed to drag him into a close-quarter dogfight, he came through it. The champion's mouth was bleeding and the visitor's nose broken by the end of the ninth, but going into the last three rounds, it was clear Quigg was going to need something spectacular to avoid defeat.
The 29-year-old almost produced just that in the penultimate round. A big left hook rocked Valdez again but trying to build on it, an obvious Quigg low blow gave the Mexican a much-needed breather.
Again, Valdez hit back before the bell sounded and in the tired-but-typically-ferocious close, showed he now has the experience to match his undoubted class.