Oscar Valdez vs. Liam Wilson: Strategic Analysis

Former two-division champion Oscar Valdez (31-2, 23 KOs) is set to face top contender Liam Wilson (13-2, 7 KOs) on Friday, March 29th, at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, in what has the potential to become an action-packed war between two fighters who want nothing more than to capture the vacant WBO interim junior lightweight championship.

Both fighters know that there’s a lot at stake, a win Friday will place the winner as one of the best in the division and lead to more potential championship matchups down the road.

Liam Wilson is a legitimate threat with good power and a long reach. He likes to box in both the orthodox and southpaw stance. In his junior welterweight title match against Emanuel Navarrete (38-1-1, 31 KOs), he put on a strong performance.

Dropping Naverrete in the fourth, nearly leading to a stoppage, Navarrete eventually recovered and captured the victory with a knockout of his own in the ninth round. Wilson knows how to utilize his long reach, boxing at long to mid-range.

He likes to throw multiple jabs, throwing 3-4 jabs at a time, following with the right or the left, depending on his stance. Joe Noynay (23-3-2, 11 KOs) had great success in his first match against Wilson by parrying his jabs and then countering. Noynay dropped Wilson four times and was victorious via technical knockout in the fifth round. He did, however, lose the rematch by a vicious knockout in the second round.

Oscar Valdez is motivated and hungry to regain a title; he is determined to do whatever it takes to win. His last fight was a hard-fought battle against Emanuel Navarrete, whereby he lost by unanimous decision.

At 33, Valdez knows he must capitalize on this opportunity and defeat Wilson to regain championship glory. In terms of professional experience, Valdez holds the edge, for this fight he must be more tactical in his approach.

Wilson has good power, and his 4-inch reach advantage makes him dangerous. Valdez must neutralize Wilson’s offense with the effectiveness of Noynay by parrying and slipping his shots, controlling the distance, and getting out of range.

Offensively, Valdez must utilize his jab effectively and create openings by feinting. Valdez must be smart and not get careless, throwing recklessly as he sometimes does. Valdez is as tough as they come, having survived a match with a broken jaw against Scott Quigg (35-3-2, 26 KOs) and earning a victory in the process.

He will be tested in this match and must avoid unnecessary punishment. If Valdez can make the necessary adjustments to minimize Wilson’s offense, be intelligent with his output, and punish Liam when he overcommits, he can capture the victory and become champion once again.