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  Valdez Set For Hometown Title Defense vs. Amateur Nemesis Conceicao On Sept. 10

Junior lightweight world titlist Oscar Valdez will make his first defense against amateur nemesis Robson Conceicao on Sept. 10 at the AVA Amphitheater at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, where Mexico’s Valdez grew up, Top Rank made official, confirming last week’s Fight Freaks Unite report.

The fight will headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ card (10 p.m.).

“I am very excited to fight in my second home, Tucson, Arizona, where I will have my first defense of the WBC world title,” Valdez said. “It motivates me to know that I will defend the title in front of my friends and my family, and I will be willing to put it on the line as in all my fights. I'm coming to give a great show to my people.”

Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs), 30, a 2008 and 2012 Mexican Olympian, aims to avenge a significant amateur loss to Conceicao (16-0, 8 KOs), 32, of Brazil, who beat him in the 2009 Pan American Games finals in Mexico City. Conceicao eventually won an Olympic gold medal at home at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

“I've been waiting my whole life for this opportunity, and that's why I'm training with great determination,” Conceicao said. “I will represent my family and Brazil. I already won a gold medal for my country and now I will bring home a world title. With great determination, I will deliver a great performance. It will be a true spectacle.”

Former featherweight titlist Valdez will be fighting for the first time since he dominated and brutally knocked out Miguel Berchelt to take his junior lightweight title in an upset on Feb. 20 in Las Vegas.

“Oscar Valdez is coming off a career-best performance and wants to put on a spectacular showing in front of the great Tucson fans,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. “Conceicao has been waiting for this shot ever since he turned pro, and having promoted him for his entire career, I know he’ll be at his very best.”

In the 10-round co-feature, junior lightweight Gabriel Flores Jr. (20-0, 7 KOs), 21, of Stockton, California, will fight Luis Alberto Lopez (22-2, 12 KOs), 27, of Mexico. Flores was originally scheduled to fight on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder III undercard but when that July 24 card was postponed Top Rank shifted Flores to Sept. 10.

“This is the next step in my journey towards a world title, and I will convincingly defeat Lopez,” Flores said. “I’m going to prove once again that I’m ready for the next level.”

Said Lopez: “I guarantee nothing but my very best. I’m a man of few words, and I’ll let my actions do the talking inside the ring.”

The undercard will also feature WBO flyweight titlist Junto Nakatani (21-0, 16 KOs), 23, of Japan, making his first defense against former junior flyweight titlist and mandatory challenger Angel “Tito” Acosta (22-2, 21 KOs), 30, of Puerto Rico. They were supposed to fight May 29 in Osaka, Japan, but it was postponed because of the state of emergency there due to the coronavirus pandemic. There were issues rescheduling the fight and a June 1 purse bid was scheduled. Before the purse bid was held Nakatani promoter Teiken Boxing and Acosta promoter Golden Boy made a deal, but because of travel restrictions preventing Acosta from entering Japan, Top Rank, which is close to Teiken Boxing, agreed to help by putting the fight on its card.

Others who will appear on the undercard against opponents to be named: hot prospect Xander Zayas (9-0, 7 KOs), 18, of Sunrise, Florida, in a six-round junior middleweight bout; lightweight prospect Raymond Muratalla (12-0, 10 KOs), 24, of Fontana, California, in an eight-rounder; 2016 Mexican Olympian and junior welterweight prospect Lindolfo Delgado (12-0, 11 KOs), 26; junior lightweight Rene Tellez Giron (15-1, 9 KOs), 22, of Mexico; and junior welterweight Omar Aguilar (21-0, 20 KOs), 22, of Mexico.


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