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Oscar Valdez vs. Liam Wilson fight preview, predictions, undercard, odds, start time, live stream

On Friday, Liam Wilson and Oscar Valdez will meet in a bout that could serve as something of a backdoor world championship clash. When Wilson and Valdez share the ring in Glendale, Arizona, the WBO interim junior lightweight championship will be up for grabs.

The interim title was added just days out from the bout. That’s because WBO world champion Emanuel Navarrete is set to move up to lightweight to fight Denys Berinchyk for the vacant title at 135 pounds in May. Should Navarrete defeat Berinchyk and decide to remain at lightweight, the winner of Valdez vs. Wilson would be elevated to world champion at junior lightweight.

Both Valdez (31-2, 23 KO) and Wilson (13-2, 7 KO) lost title bids against Navarrete in 2023. Wilson dropped Navarrete in the fourth round but couldn’t hold off the champion from there, eventually suffering a ninth-round TKO loss. Valdez and Navarrete went to war in their clash, producing one of the most exciting fights of the year before Navarrete walked away with a unanimous decision win.

Valdez has not fought since the loss to Navarrete in August and has suffered the only two defeats of his pro career in his three most recent fights, also dropping a 2022 bout with then WBC junior lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson in a unification bout in which Valdez dropped the WBO title he’d won two fights earlier with a knockout of Miguel Berchelt. Valdez also held the WBO featherweight title from 2016 to 2019 with six successful title defenses before vacating the belt when he moved up in weight.

Wilson got right back to work in 2023, following up his February loss to Navarrete with wins over Carlos Maria Alanis and Jackson Jon England. Wilson has never held a world title but that could change if he pulls off the win over Valdez and Navarrete completes a permanent move to lightweight.

The chief support bout promises almost as much action as the main event, with Seniesa Estrada (25-0, 9 KO) putting her WBA and WBC minimumweight titles on the line against IBF and WBO champion Yokasta Valle (30-2, 9 KO), with the winner emerging as boxing’s latest undisputed champion.

Valdez vs. Wilson fight card, odds

Favorite Underdog Weight class

Oscar Valdez -375

Liam Wilson +275

Interim WBO super featherweight title

Seniesa Estrada (c) -220

Yokasta Valle (c) +175

Undisputed minimumweight title

Raymond Muratalla -3000

Xolisani Ndongeni +1400

Lightweight

Richard Torrez Jr. -4000

Donald Haynesworth +1500

Heavyweight

Emiliano Vargas -5000

Nelson Hampton +1500

Lightweight

Viewing information

Date: March 29 | Location: Diamond Desert Arena — Glendale, Arizona
Start time: 6:10 p.m. ET (main event around 11 p.m. ET)
How to watch: ESPN+

Prediction

Wilson was expected to get blown out by Navarrete but proved his quality by giving the champion all he could handle before being stopped late in the fight. As a result, Wilson isn’t being overlooked heading into the fight with Valdez but still will enter the ring as an underdog.

Valdez is in an odd spot in his career, having been a high-level championship fighter but dropping two of his three most recent outings. Losses to Navarrete and Stevenson are hardly indications that Valdez is done as an elite fighter as those two men are among the best fighters on the planet.

Valdez is the more proven fighter with loads more high-level experience than Wilson. In addition, he’s a bit more dynamic and should be expected to outwork and outbox Wilson. Valdez likely has a few rocky moments in the fight but manages to take a close, but clear, decision win. Pick: Oscar Valdez via UD

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