Featherweight world titleholder Oscar Valdez and top contender Scott Quigg have a done deal for a potentially explosive fight.
They will meet on March 10 (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 10:30 p.m. ET) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, Top Rank announced Tuesday.
Quigg is a step up in opposition for Valdez, who will be making the fourth defense of his 126-pound belt.
"Oscar Valdez has passed every in-ring test with flying colors, but the biggest test of his professional career will take place on March 10 against Scott Quigg, who like Oscar, rarely leaves a fight in the hands of the judges," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. "The fans watching at StubHub and live across ESPN's platforms are in for an exciting night."
Valdez, 27, a two-time Mexican Olympian, is coming off one of the best fights of 2017 -- a battle with Genesis Servania on Sept. 22 that was much tougher than many had expected. Both fighters were knocked down, but Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs) prevailed by hard-fought unanimous decision in Tucson, Arizona, where Valdez grew up.
Valdez said he will be ready for another difficult fight, his fourth at the StubHub Center.
"I know that my March 10 world title defense against Scott Quigg will be a fun one for all the boxing fans because our styles combine perfectly to make a real war," Valdez said. "As usual, on March 10, I will leave it all in the ring at StubHub Center to show everyone that I'm one of the best featherweights in the world."
Said Frank Espinoza, Valdez's manager: "We're very excited for the fight against Quigg. This fight will further showcase Oscar's skills and will demonstrate that he is a star. Oscar is one of the best in the world and against Quigg he'll prove it once again."
England's Quigg (34-1-2, 25 KOs), 29, is a former junior featherweight world titleholder who won't have to travel far for his first fight in the United States. He is trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach at his Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California.
"This is a fight that I'm really looking forward to. It's a great fight," Quigg said. "I have a lot of respect for Oscar and his team. We've been in the gym together in the past, helping each other prepare for a fight. They are good people. I've been in training for four weeks already and now I've just linked up with Freddie Roach to begin the last eight weeks of camp. This is a great opportunity for me -- making my U.S. debut on a great platform on ESPN -- and I'm confident on March 10 I'll become world champion again."
Quigg has won three fights in a row since his only defeat -- a split decision to Northern Ireland's Carl Frampton in a heavily hyped junior featherweight world title unification bout in February 2016. Quigg, who moved up to featherweight following the defeat, is coming off a sixth-round knockout of Oleg Yefimovych on Nov. 4 in Monte Carlo.
Top Rank and Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, Quigg's promoter, worked out the deal over the past few weeks.
"I'm delighted to get this fight made. I feel it's one of the best fights in the division right now," Hearn said. "Both guys like to come forward and throw aggressive combinations, and I do not believe we will hear the final bell. What I do believe is that on March 10, Scott Quigg will become a two-weight world champion in a fight of the year contender, live on ESPN."
Valdez-Quigg will go in a high-profile time slot -- one ESPN wanted to use for a Top Rank card --- immediately following the ACC men's basketball tournament championship game at approximately 10:30 p.m. ET.
On the undercard, junior lightweight up-and-comers Andy Vences (20-0, 12 KOs), 26, of San Jose, California, and Erick De Leon (17-0, 10 KOs), 25, of Detroit, will meet in a 10-round fight that could be televised as the co-feature. If not, it will stream live on the ESPN App with the rest of the card.
In another bout on the card, junior welterweight Arnold Barboza Jr. (17-0, 6 KOs), 26, of Los Angeles, will take a step up in opposition level against southpaw Mike Reed (23-1, 12 KOs), 25, of Waldorf, Maryland, in a 10-rounder. Reed, however, is coming off his first defeat, a second-round knockout loss to Jose Ramirez in the main event of a Top Rank ESPN card on Nov. 11 in Ramirez's hometown of Fresno, California.
Also ticketed for undercard action are junior welterweight Alex Saucedo (26-0, 16 KOs), 23, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; middleweight Esquiva Falcao (19-0, 13 KOs), 28, of Brazil, in what is supposed to be his final tune-up fight before challenging Japan's Ryota Murata for his world title this summer in an ESPN main event; and 2016 U.S. Olympian Mikaela Mayer (3-0, 2 KOs), 27, of Los Angeles in a lightweight fight.