WBO Featherweight Champion Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) is back on BoxNation on February 2nd when he defends his World Title defence against Italian Carmine 'Mr. Wolf' Tommasone (19-0, 5 KOs).
Valdez was on the way to mammoth fights until suffering a broken jaw in his win against Scott Quigg last March.
He has been sidelined ever since, but returns in Dallas on a high class bill headed by Sergey Kovalev who attempts to regain the WBO Light-Heavyweight belt from Eleider Alvarez.
If Valdez comes through big fights will be made. Here are a ‘Fab Four' of possible opponents for 2019.
1) JOSH WARRINGTON
A unification against the Leeds man had been expected after his defence against Tommasone. However, the IBF have ordered Warrington to defend against fellow Brit and mandatory challenger, Kid Galahad, and are not allowing a unification to interrupt the fight.
If both keep winning, the showdown could take place in the autumn, especially as promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren have a healthy working relationship.
2) GENESIS SERVANIA
Just as Warrington cannot swerve Galahad, the WBO will slap a mandatory defence on Valdez this year, a position his old rival Servania holds.
The Japan based Filipino dropped Valdez, but lost an exciting fight on points in September 2017. Both are with Top Rank making it easy fight to make if Valdez needs another test before a marquee fight. Don’t be shocked if this match happens in late spring.
3) LEO SANTA CRUZ
Although Josh Warrington is the most likely unification opponent, Valdez mentioned the WBA Champion as a possible foe at his media workout this week. He says: “Santa Cruz wants it, I personally want it. Nothing personal, we just want to prove who’s the best at 126.”
The biggest problem is getting promoters Bob Arum and Al Haymon together and both will want the US broadcast rights. That makes the fight hard to make, but it’s one of the best in the world between two wildly exciting men.
4) CARL FRAMPTON
If Valdez is looking for a big name opponent, Frampton fits the bill perfectly. The Northern Irishman lost a thriller against Warrington last month, pushing the IBF Champion all the way. Frampton is dreaming of a rubber match against Leo Santa Cruz, but if that fails to materialise a crack at Valdez keeps him in the big time.