Two warriors made their way into the ring with immaculate boxing records, but only one would get to keep it unblemished.
Mexico’s Oscar Valdez (22-0, 19KO) put his WBO World Featherweight champion on the line against Philippines’ Genesis Servania (22-0, 19KO) in a fight of the year candidate.
However, Valdez outlasted Servania via unanimous decision (116-110, 119-111, 117-109) to retained his belt, Saturday morning in Tucson, Arizona.
The champion exhibited his punching power early on, as he scored solid punches to the head and body of the Filipino challenger.
Determined to be the aggressor, Servania started to land his own in the second round, but Valdez retaliated with much cleaner combinations.
Valdez remained the busier boxer in the third and fourth rounds with beautiful and brutal left and right combinations, but the Filipino challenger refused to back throwing his own devastating body punches.
With less than a minute remaining in the fourth stanza, Servania landed a well-timed liver shot that forced the champion to drop his guard for a second. Servania followed it up with a right hand to the head that knocked down Valdez.
The Mexican champion tasted the canvas for the very first time in his illustrious career. Valdez would survive that quandary, only to get caught with a huge right hand with less than 10 seconds remaining. Servania went for the kill but the ref halted the bout signalling the end of the round.
Servania started off round number five oozing with confidence, as he stood at close quarters against the knockout artist. It was a toss-up round until Valdez landed a perfectly-timed left hook that sent Servania wringgling on the floor. It was Valdez’ turn to go for the jugular, but Servania pulled through.
Round six was again action-packed, as both boxers traded heavy punches from the get-go. Valdez appeared to have the round in the bag; however, with 10 seconds remaining on the clock, Servania snuck in a brutal upper cut that stunned Valdez before going on a rampage, battering Valdez with punches to the head until the end of the round.
Valdez recovered quickly, as he displayed superior boxing acumen in the next round as the busier and the more accurate of the two. Servania carried on with his forward movement, but his best efforts were thwarted.
The final round came, and both were far from over.
Valdez kept throwing with evil intentions, while Servania continued to dig deep, hoping to turn the tide. As the final 10 seconds approached, both bit on their mouth guards and exchanged vicious blows until it was over.
It was a valiant stand by the Filipino, drawing wide praise from pundits and fans alike.
By: JD Sanchez