Photos by Stacey Verbeek
Hailing from Dallas, Texas, undefeated super bantamweight prospect Hector Valdez (12-0, 8KO's) put on a spectacular show of boxing skills against Luis Alberto Rios (25-6, 17 KO's) from Panama.
Before the fight, Valdez told InTheRing.net that this was his first scheduled eight round fight and one of the keys to his game plan was to be very disciplined, and take it round by round. He showed this throughout the fight and he remained calm and calculated, looked for his spots, and executed a great game plan.
When asked whether it would be a quick knockout or if it would go the eight rounds, he said he would prefer for it to go more rounds for the experience of getting in more work, but if the knockout comes early on, so be it.
As usual, Valdez came out pressing the fight in the first round and snapping left hand jabs at the veteran Rios, who appeared extremely calm in the ring. Then Rios attempted to land a looping right hand against Valdez towards the end of the round, but it never made solid contact.
At about the minute mark left in the first round, Valdez threw a quick left hook to the body of Rios and then followed it with a lightning straight right hand to the head of his opponent and it rocked him back towards the ropes.
Valdez then followed that up with a left to the hook to the body of Rios, and Rios missed a wild right hand to the head of Valdez and the bell sounded.
In the second round of this scheduled eight round fight, Valdez continued to force the action by backing up Rios and throwing his jab and going to the body. At the very end of the round, Rios landed a glancing right hand to the face of Valdez, but it had no effect and Valdez followed it up with a combination of his own.
At the start of the third and final round, Rios landed two short uppercuts to the body of Valdez but with no effect, and Valdez countered back with a quick combination.
Valdez, who is a boxer puncher with fast hands and power behind them, started to pick up the pace even more as he landed several heavy punches to the body of Rios that could be heard ringside.
Dallas' Valdez continued to be aggressive at a steady pace and then landed a left hook to the head of Rios. Valdez then almost lost his footing after attempting to land two left hooks that missed, but he stayed composed and continued to stalk Rios around the ring.
Right after this, Rios landed a good right hand to the head of Valdez, and a second or two after that, Valdez landed a lightning vicious left hook to the body of Rios and he went down whining in pain in the corner. The official time was 2:59 of the third round by TKO.