Oscar Valdez is one of the great hopes of Mexican boxing, and hopes to be back with a bang when he risks his WBO Featherweight crown against Italy’s undefeated Carmine Tommasone in Frisco, Texas on February 2nd, live on BoxNation.
A broken jaw suffered in his points win against Scott Quigg last March has kept him sidelined, but he is desperate make up for lost time.
Valdez, 28, has won all 24 fights and is desperate to leave a legacy as a Mexican great.
BoxNation pundit Steve Lillis gives his countdown of Gr-Eight Mexicans:
8. RICARDO LOPEZ
‘Finito’ retired in 2001 unbeaten in 52 fights and a world champion at Minimumweight and Light-Flyweight. He defended his WBC Minimumweight title 21 times. The only blemish on his record was a technical draw against Rosendo Alvarez who he beat in a return.
7. MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA
His best years were past him when he lost to Marquez and then famously lost against Amir Khan, but they shouldn’t detract from how great he was. He is a seven-time World Champion in three weight classes.
6. ERIK MORALES
He won six World Titles with his glory coming in four weights. He beat 15 World Champions and his trilogies with Marco Antonio Barrera who he hated when they boxed and Manny Pacquiao boosted his legacy.
5. JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ
JMM spent a chunk of his career chasing Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera and it can be argued that he ended up more successful than either. He did get to grips with Barrera in 2007, taking his countryman’s WBC Super-Featherweight title.
World Titles came at Featherweight, Super-Featherweight, Lightweight and Junior-Welterweight, but it is his rivalry with Manny Pacquiao that he will be remembered for and finally knocking out the Filipino great in their fourth meeting.
4. CARLOS ZARATE
[Image credit: Ring Magazine]
The moustachioed menace won 66 of his 70, fights with 63 wins coming inside the distance. He won the WBC Bantamweight Title in 1976 when he knocked out Rodolfo Martinez and made eight defences before losing to another great, Wilfredo Gomez.
3. RUBEN OLIVARES
Arguably the greatest Bantamweight of all time and his country’s best in history until Chavez emerged. He won his first 24 fights by KO and counts Lionel Rose, Alan Rudkin and Bobby Chacon among his victims.
2. SALVADOR SANCHEZ
[Image credit: Vice Media]
He may well have become Mexico’s greatest ever, but died in a car crash in August 1982 at the age of 23. During his too short seven year career, Sanchez captured the WBC Featherweight Title and made nine defences. Among his victims were Pat Cowdell and Azumah Nelson.
1. JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ
JCC won six World Titles at three different weights in a career spanning 25 years. He went 90 fights unbeaten until losing to Frankie Randall. He lost his way towards the end of his career and eventually retired in September 2005 with a 107-6-2 record.