Oscar Valdez's latest featherweight title defense didn't come easy for him, but still managed to outlast a very game and aggressive Jason Sanchez.
In the main event of a Top Rank on ESPN card from Reno, Nevada, Valdez picked up a unanimous decision win over Sanchez to retain his WBO featherweight world title. Valdez won the fight with scores of 118-109, 118-109 and 117-110.
The challenger fought aggressively throughout the fight, outworking the champion at times, but was unable to seriously hurt Valdez despite showcasing some solid body work. At the start of the fifth round, Valdez was able to connect on a left hook to drop Sanchez.
Valdez has held the WBO title since 2016 and has now made a total of six successful defenses. Despite a lengthy stay at featherweight, Valdez said in a post-fight interview that he would hope to remain fighting at featherweight, but wouldn't rule out a jump to super featherweight and added that it all depends on how his body feels and what his doctor and team feels is best for him.
On the undercard, Michael Seals landed a vicious left hand that knocked out Christopher Brooker two minutes into the second round and record his second consecutive win in two rounds or less.
Also on the undercard, 19-year-old Gabriel Flores Jr. picked up his 14th straight win to remain unbeaten thanks to a dominant eight-round decision win against Salvador Briceno. Brazilian prospect Robson Conceicao remained undefeated with an impressive outing against Carlos Ruiz, winning the fight by a wide unanimous decision.