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Weighting game for Frampton? Jackal target Oscar Valdez to vacate and move up

Carl Frampton [26(15)-2(0)] target Oscar Valdez [26(20)-0] looks set to vacate his WBO featherweight world title and move up in weight.

The move creates some uncertainty around ‘The Jackal’s’ attempt to regain world champion status this year just a week shy of his return to the ring against Emmanuel Dominguez in Philadelphia. 

The Belfast fighter was ‘promised’ a shot at Valdez and his title if he successfully dealt with Dominguez and was confident of a December tilt.

Indeed, Dominguez was picked as an opponent with fellow Mexican Valdez in mind.

Even when last week Shakur Stevenson [12(7)-0] was confirmed as mandatory for the long-reigning world champ by the WBO news came out from team Frampton that they were assured they would be next in line.

However, the fighter with six WBO title defenses has thrown a spanner in the works by moving up in weight.

Valdez, who was said to be struggling to make 126lbs, will vacate which seems to leave Stevenson in world title pole and there are suggestions #1 ranked Joet Gonzalez will provide the opposition. 

It’s possible the WBO may move Top Rank’s Frampton up the rankings again after next Saturday. He has held the organisations interim title and is currently in the #5 slot. It may also be possible that the Americans fight for the vacant strap and the former two weight world champion gets a shot at the winner.

Considering Stevenson is a Top Rank fighter like the Belfast man if the Rio Olympian was to win that should be an easy fight to make.

Regardless, a new plan may have to be drawn out as Valdez confirmed the news today.

“It’s time! I’ve always wanted to become a multi-division champion,” said Valdez in a statement to BoxingScene.com. “I think I would feel more comfortable at that weight too. 126-pounds is getting harder to make after seven years as a featherweight, so I think moving to 130 pounds would make more sense.

“Most of the fighters I admire have won several titles and I want that too,” Valdez said.


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com