SCOTT QUIGG performed his half in a Combat of the 12 months contender in California – however Oscar Valdez obtained the nod to retain his belt.
As heavy rain fell on the out of doors StubHub Middle right here in Carson, the duo served up the struggle everybody had anticipated.
Finally it was WBO champ Valdez who impressed the judges, who all gave him the nod and returned scores of 117-111 (twice) and 118-110.
However the scorecards don’t inform the story of a brutal bout through which each males had their moments.
It was later revealed that Valdez broke his jaw within the fourth spherical, extremely managing to outpoint his heavier opponent over the following eight.
And within the fifth spherical Quigg’s nostril was damaged that left him trying close to unrecognisable on the last bell.
The battle was solely confirmed on Saturday morning after Quigg got here in 2.8lbs over at Friday’s weigh-in.
As a result of he got here in so heavy, California guidelines prohibited the Bury man from attempting and drop any extra weight.
It meant Quigg was unable to win the belt and it was as much as WBO champ Valdez and his workforce to determine whether or not or not they needed to battle the heavier Quigg in any respect.
Hours of negotiations stretched late into Friday night and an settlement between the 2 camps lastly reached simply hours earlier than the primary bell on the StubHub.
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Then there was the matter of the incessant rain which fell heavily from around 2pm afternoon and did not stop.
It meant the fighters made their way to the ring beneath a plastic sheet and with carrier bags strapped around their boots. Even the ringcard girls were in hoodies.
The StubHub Center was two-thirds empty with the heavy rain affecting the number of walk-up ticket sales badly.
Some locals said they had not seen rain like it in the area for years and the kids flogging $3 ponchos outside made a killing.
They sold so many plastic sheets that the venue looked like a ghost convention – even Eddie Hearn stuck one on when he took his ringside seat.
Clearly upset that Quigg had deprived them of a legitimate title fight, the Valdez fans in attendance made their presence felt as the Englishman made his way to the ring to Oasis’ Rock n Roll Star.
He was booed during the introductions too, but he raised his arms and grinned into the crowd.
From the opening bell, Valdez went straight to work, immediately trying to find a home for his trademark left hook.
Quigg was tucking up well and pressuring Valdez but was clipped with a right hand towards the end of the opening round.
The Mexican switched his attack to the body in the second but Quigg, who had suffered with a stress fracture in his foot during camp, kept coming.
The fight really crackled into life in the fourth round as both men stood in centre ring and traded hard shots – but neither was forced too far backwards.
And the fifth was even better – especially for Quigg – who stiffened Valdez’s legs with a crunching right hand that sent the champion back against the ropes.
In the end, he was happy to hear the bell although by now a cut had opened over Quigg’s left eye.
Valdez touched down in the sixth but only after a push from Quigg, who got a telling off from referee Lou Moret.
The defending champion had the crowd back on their feet in the 10th when he plunged a left hook into Quigg’s ribs but the Bury man sucked it up and went back to work.
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But Valdez was feeling the pace against the bigger man and had blood pouring from his mouth as a result of constant pressure.
He had the wind well and truly taken from his sails in the 11th when Quigg put him down with a horrible right uppercut which landed on the crown jewels.
The ref stopped short of deducting a point, but it would not have mattered anyway as the judges all had Valdez the clear winner anyway.