The purse bid for the 126-pound title is set for August 2 in Kissimmee, Florida with the minimum bid being $150,000 should the auction take place. The news almost assures Stevenson a shot at the title but whether or not it will be against Valdez is another matter.
It’s no secret that Valdez has had increasing difficulty in making weight at 126 pounds and is seriously considering a move up to super featherweight. The only fights Valdez would consider worthy of him staying at featherweight a little longer would be bouts against IBF champion Josh Warrington in a unification or against former featherweight titlist Carl Frampton. A fight against Stevenson is not one that Valdez is really interested in, at least according to manager Frank Espinoza. If fights against either of those two boxers aren’t possible next, then Valdez would seriously consider a move up in weight, meaning the title would be vacant.
Oscar Valdez wants a big name. Either Warrington or Frampton. Feels he deserve a fight with one of them. #boxing— ESPINOZA BOXING -- (@EspinozaBoxing) July 24, 2019
I'm saying you having done nothing as a pro yet. Frampton has accomplished more.— ESPINOZA BOXING -- (@EspinozaBoxing) July 24, 2019
If the title were to be vacant, then the WBO would order Stevenson to fight the next highest-ranked available contender from the WBO rankings. As of this writing, that would be No. 2 Joet Gonzalez, another young, rising undefeated contender who has made big waves at 126 in the past year.
Valdez, who represented Mexico in the 2012 Olympics, has held the WBO title since July 2016 when he stopped Matias Rueda in the second round. Since then, Valdez has made six successful title defenses with wins over Miguel Marriaga and Scott Quigg. Valdez most recently retained his title with a unanimous decision win over Jason Sanchez this past June in Reno, Nevada.
Stevenson, a silver medalist in the 2016 Olympics, had a rapid ascent to the top of the contender’s list with 12 straight wins and a number of regional titles. Stevenson, ranked in the top five by the WBA, WBO and IBF, is coming off a TKO win over Alberto Guevara in Stevenson's hometown of Newark, New Jersey on July 13.