Espinoza Boxing took to Instagram Monday afternoon to announce the WBO Featherweight Champion Oscar Valdez will be under the guidance of renowned trainer Eddy Reynoso for his upcoming training camp.
“We are very grateful for everything that Manny Robles and his team did for Oscar,” said Valdez’s manager Frank Espinoza. “But as we move on to bigger challenges in Oscar career, we feel as a team that Eddy Reynoso is better suited for what’s ahead.”
Formerly trained by 2016 Trainer of the Year Manny Robles, Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) also used Instagram to show his appreciation to Robles, who was in his corner when he became featherweight world champion in July 2016 against Matias Carlos Adrian Rueda and since has helped him remain undefeated.
“I want to thank Manny Robles and his whole team for everything they have done for me over the last few years,” said Valdez. “But like everything in life, changes are sometimes needed to move forward. I am very grateful to them for their friendship and all they have taught me.”
Valdez has made four successful title defenses, enduring more and more difficult battles each time. Undoubtedly the most grueling title defense being his most recent bout this past March against British featherweight Scott Quigg (34-2-2. 25 KOs) which resulted in a broken jaw for the two-time Olympian. Quigg came in a couple of pounds over the weight limit at the official weigh-in, and after Valdez agreed to keep the fight on, Quigg came in at 142 lbs on fight night. Nearly 20 pounds over the featherweight limit, Quigg was able to absorb all Valdez’s punches and deliver enough punishment to break his jaw and wobble him in certain rounds. With a broken jaw, Valdez arose victorious against Quigg on all judges scorecards.
In the fight prior, Valdez engaged in a toe-to-toe war against then-undefeated Filipino contender Genesis “Kashimi” Servania (31-1, 14 KOs) who sent Valdez to the canvas for the first time in his pro career in the fourth round. Valdez appeared to be severely hurt before the round-ending bell but came back to drop Servania early in the fifth round with a brutal shot of his own. Servania managed to get up and continued to fight back for the remainder of the fight, still falling short in all three of the judges’ scorecards which were in favor of Valdez.
His second title defense was also the end of a five-fight knockout streak for Valdez, as Miguel “The Scorpion” Marriaga (26-3, 22 KOs) gave him a run for his money in an entertaining 12-round battle at the StubHub Center in Carson, Ca. Regardless of being caught with effective punches from the Colombian warrior, Valdez appeared dominant and knocked Marriaga down in the tenth round. Valdez won by unanimous decision and has been winning in that manner since.
The Mexican champion has gained the love and respect of “Mexican Style” boxing fans who were impressed at his resilience against a much bigger Quigg; however, fans have also expressed concern for the amount of punishment Valdez has been receiving in his more recent fights. Though there’s no denying Valdez and Robles appeared to have a special bond, a change of trainer may prove to be exactly what Valdez needs to improve his defense in the ring.
“As a boxer you have to able to develop as much as you can,” said Valdez. “I believe that this change in trainers will help me become an even better all-around boxer and fighter. I want to be one the best fighters in the world and leave the best legacy that I can in boxing. I will always work hard to achieve the greatness that I seek”
Because of the wording in the caption of Valdez’s Instagram post announcing his parting from Robles, many fans are speculating Valdez was given no choice but to part ways with the talented trainer.
Valdez has not been the only fighter managed by Frank Espinoza to withdraw from Robles’ training; early July, Espinoza Boxing announced former WBO Super Bantamweight Champion Jessie Magdaleno was to start training with Jose Benavidez Sr. Magdaleno suffered his first pro career loss and lost his title to Isaac “Brave-Son” Dogboe last April with Robles in his corner.
Undefeated Mexican prospect Joselito “Huracan” Velazquez had his last training camp with Robles at the beginning of the year in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mex. along with Valdez and Magdaleno. The former Pan-American Games Gold medalist is now under the training of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card boxing gym preparing for his return. Before Velazquez made the switch, former Mexican Olympian Raul “Cougar” Curiel also parted ways with Robles to train with Freddie Roach at Wild Card.
After suffering a devastating knockout loss in March, super bantamweight Golden Boy prospect Emilio Sanchez, also formerly trained by Robles, made his return this past Saturday to win by way of knockout with trainer Joel Diaz in his corner.
With Valdez gone from the Robles stable, Robles is left with no world champions under his training and no Espinoza Boxing fighters either. Only time will tell if the switch in trainers will prove to be the right move for Valdez’s career.
Eddy Reynoso is mostly known for being Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s trainer since his amateur career and shaping him into the boxing superstar that he is today. With Valdez joining his stable, Reynoso now has two of the best Mexican fighters and plans to keep them at the top of their division.
“This is a challenge for me,” said Reynoso. “Oscar Valdez is a great fighter, and one of my goals is to work on what’s necessary to make him a complete fighter. I think Oscar will bring the best out of me as a trainer, while I will bring the best out of him as a world champion and as a representative of Mexico”
Though an opponent or return date has yet to be announced for Valdez, the plan is for the Nogales, Sonora native to make his return early 2019.