Wilson "split second" from world title, says Valdez

Published 7:00pm 31 March 2024

Wilson "split second" from world title, says Valdez
Words by Nick Crockford

Liam Wilson will fly back to Australia with a two-time world champion urging him not to give up on his dream.

Wilson, who trains at All Star Boxing Academy in Lawnton, made a bright start but was stopped in the seventh round of his interim WBO junior lightweight fight in Arizona.

Oscar Valdez took the belt and will be full world champion next month if holder Emanuel Navarrete wins the WBO lightweight crown and relinquishes the “junior” title.

Redcliffe-born Wilson has lost to both men in the same Glendale arena 13 months apart, but has distinguished himself before fight fans and commentators.

Valdez, a former featherweight and super featherweight world champion, told Caboolture resident Wilson: “I truly mean it when I say keep it up.

On a video posted by No Limit Boxing, which promotes Wilson, the Mexican said: “You almost got me. So it means you’re just a split second from being a world champion.

“(You have) got to come back because I know you will. I swear you got it.

“Do that promise you made. Go get it,” Valdez added, referring to a world title pledge Wilson made to his father before he passed away.

In a great show of respect, Valdez, 33, said they had to “stay in touch” and told Wilson he is “more than welcome” to “come to the gym and work with us”.

The 28-year-old Moreton Bay resident was also magnanimous in defeat saying he was “proud” to be in hard fights.

Wilson said his preparation was “100 per cent” and felt he was “definitely ready” but “got caught with a few too many punches”.

With height and reach advantage, Wilson was more dominant in the early rounds, but Valdez rallied and unleashed a flurry of heavy blows in round seven.

Undeterred, Wilson says he’s still got youth on his side and insists “wherever the hard fights I’ll go there”.

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