Best night of pro career: Valadez wowed Orange County fans and the ringside media by knocking out undefeated Kevin Hoskins in the third-round of his last fight, on April 12, at the county fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, Calif. Valadez dropped Hoskins, a talented L.A. prospect known for his punching power, in the first round of the shootout. Hoskins, who recently served as one of Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partners for the Tim Bradley fight, got up and battled back on even terms in the second round but Valadez hurt the boxer-puncher to the body in the third round and quickly overwhelmed him along the ropes.
Worst night of pro career: In only his second pro fight, Valadez was reckless in his relentless pursuit of Oscar Andrade, a tall, rangy and aggressive southpaw who was also 1-0. Valadez was repeatedly rocked by flush left hands, which he literally lunged into, but he fired back with abandon every time it looked like he might be dropped or stopped – making for an exciting four-round slugfest, which was televised on Fox Sports Net as the opening bout of the July 2010 Fight Night Club show. Valadez lost a close unanimous decision.
Next fight: Valadez faces once-beaten Aalan Martinez (12-1-1, 8 knockouts), a 29-year-old puncher from Guadalajara, Mexico, in the co-featured bout of a Thompson Boxing card at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif., on Friday. Martinez has won three bouts by knockout since suffering his only loss, a six-round decision to undefeated Russian prospect Evgeny Gradovich last April. The bout will be Valadez’s first scheduled eight-round bout.
Why he’s a prospect: Valadez has won 10 consecutive bouts in the 21-month span since losing to Andrade. That streak includes a six-round decision over gate-keeper Rafael Lora (11-4 at the time) and the third-round KO of 6-0 Hoskins. Valadez is a solid athlete, gifted with underrated quickness, coordinated footwork and considerable physical strength. However, his best attributes aren’t physical, but rather his will to win and willingness to do what it takes to improve.
Why he’s a suspect: Valadez had a limited amateur background and employs an aggressive style that invites getting hit. His stiff upper body and lack of head movement often makes him an easy target for opponents who aren’t too intimidated to let their hands go. And, while a solid puncher, Valadez does not possess world-class power.
Story lines: Valadez was not considered a prospect when he turned pro two years ago. The East L.A. native was introduced to the sport at a young age through a Los Angeles Police Department program (which introduced him to his manager, Hector Ibarra) but he competed in less than 30 bouts before his family moved to Ontario, Calif., when he was 15. Rather than find a new gym andnew boxing program, Valadez tried out for his high school football team and made the varsity squad as a freshman. Football was his sport throughout high school and he excelled at it, but upon graduation he returned to boxing and his old East L.A. gym, which had spawned teenage amateur star Frankie Gomez. Gomez was signed by Golden Boy Promotions and scheduled to fight on the L.A.-based company’s Fight Night Club series. Valadez turned pro on Gomez’s first Fight Night Club appearance. Two months later Valadez lost to Andrade in his second appearance on the series. At that point, most observers thought he was nothing more than an entertaining club fighter. However, Valadez vowed to improve. He dropped from junior welterweight to lightweight and then junior lightweight. He switched trainers – three times in search of the right fit for his style. And after 10 consecutive victories – six of which took place on Fight Night Club shows – he’s beginning to draw attention from Southern California-based promoters as a prospect worthy of signing.
May 27 Javier Romero W UD 4
July 22 Oscar Andrade L UD 4
Sept. 30 Carlos Hernandez W KO 1
Oct. 28 Aaron Anderson W UD 4
Nov. 18 Ramon Flores W UD 4
Jan. 14 Cesar Garcia W KO 3
Feb. 10 Jacob Thornton W KO 1
April 01 Rob Diezel W KO 1
April 28 Rafael Lora W UD 6
June 23 Ramon Flores W KO 3
Aug. 25 Noe Lopez Jr W UD 6
April 12 Kevin Hoskins W KO 3