Junior lightweight Jayson “La Maravilla” Vélez had two options on his hands.
The first was to challenge Chris Colbert for the interim-World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight championship. However, for this he would have to wait until the fall.
The other option was to face Oscar Valdez (27-0, 21 KO) on July 21 as the main event fight on a Top Rank show at the “The Bubble” inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Vélez opted for the second option for a variety of reasons.
“Valdez is a better known boxer, economically he is better and we have a date. It is a fight that I like more than Colbert, because Valdez fits my style better,” Velez told Carlos Gonzalez.
Preliminarily, Vélez (29-6-1, 21 KO) was in line to be Colbert’s opponent, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellations of events in the United States and the fight was up in the air.
“I was training to fight Colbert, but there was no talk of a contract. They made me an offer for Valdez and I accepted it. Colbert does not have the recognition of Valdez, and besides that he was going to move because of his more elusive and difficult style. Valdez will come to me and people know that I like a war. I will not have to go look for him,” said the 32-year-old Puerto Rican.
“Even without Valdez having a world title, he was a [former] champion with many defenses. If one asks about Chris Colbert, very few know who he is. Most know who Valdez is. The decision did not have to be put on a scale. It is a fight that I’ve wanted since I was at 126 pounds.
“They had told me about the possibility of fighting Valdez six weeks ago, so I did have the time [to prepare] and I was training anyway. It’s a matter of changing the gauntlets and a little bit of the strategy, but basically everything else is the same. His style fits with mine.”