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Oscar Valdez-Jason Sanchez Headlines Top Rank on ESPN Card June 8th at Reno-Sparks Convention Center!

(May 9th) Boxing’s preeminent action superhero, Oscar Valdez, will make the sixth defense of his WBO featherweight world title Saturday, June 8 against the upset-minded Jason “El Alacrancito” Sanchez at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

 

Valdez-Sanchez and the 10-round light heavyweight showdown between title-hungry contenders Sullivan Barrera and Michael Seals will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. Gabriel Flores Jr. (13-0, 6 KOs), fresh off his third-round knockout over Eduardo Pereira Reis in front of more than 10,000 fans in his hometown of Stockton, California, will see action on the undercard.

 

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Let's Get It On Promotions and Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, tickets for this world championship event priced at $103, $68 and $43 (including facility fees) are on sale now and can be purchased via Ticketmaster.com or in person at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa gift shop.

 

“Jason Sanchez is the real ‘Cinderella Man,’” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is young, hungry and capable of pulling off a major upset. It should be an exciting battle.”

 

"I’m excited to be back in the ring for the sixth defense of my world title. I know there is a big target on my back because I'm the champion, but nobody is going to take this title away from me,” Valdez said. "This will be my second fight training with Eddy Reynoso. Training with Eddy, I feel the best I’ve ever felt. I felt great in the ring during my first fight with Eddy in my corner. I know that I will look even better this time out. The fans in Reno and watching on ESPN and ESPN Deportes can expect a great showing from me on June 8.”

 

“I am truly honored and blessed to have an opportunity like this,” Sanchez said. “Coming from Albuquerque, New Mexico, I knew I had to work extra hard to be noticed and to get where I’m at right now. I will be bringing this belt home to Albuquerque, to my family, my supporters, and most of all, my late brother Alan Sanchez. I believe he guided me down this road and that my journey is only beginning.”

 

Valdez (25-0, 20 KOs), Mexico’s first two-time Olympian, has thrilled boxing fans with his go-for-broke style. He won the WBO featherweight title in July 2016 and proved his mettle with a trio of 12-round bloodbaths against Miguel Marriaga, Genesis Servania and Scott Quigg in consecutive bouts. Valdez outlasted an over-the-weight Quigg last March by unanimous decision despite fighting more than half the bout with a severely broken jaw. Following the Quigg bout, Valdez took nearly a year off, returning Feb. 2 in Frisco, Texas, to knock out then-unbeaten Italian challenger Carmine Tommasone in the seventh round. 

 

The 24-year-old Sanchez (14-0, 7 KOs) enters this championship fight as one of the featherweight division’s fastest-rising young guns. Last October, he stunned then-unbeaten Jean Carlos Rivera via unanimous decision in Panama City, Panama. Following the Rivera victory, Sanchez signed a long-term promotional contract with Top Rank. He impressed in his Top Rank debut Feb. 2 in Frisco, Texas, knocking out Daniel Olea in the second round. Sanchez hopes to become only the fifth men’s boxer from New Mexico to win a world title.

 

Barrera (22-2, 14 KOs), a former Cuban amateur standout, defected to the United States in 2009 and turned pro later that year. The Miami-based bruiser won the first 17 bouts of his career before dropping a decision to pound-for-pound great Andre Ward. A perennial contender, Barrera holds victories over Joe Smith Jr., Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Karo Murat and former super middleweight world champion Jeff Lacy. He challenged Dmitry Bivol for a light heavyweight world title last year and fought valiantly before being stopped in the 12th and final round.

 

Seals (22-2, 16 KOs), a former linebacker for Alabama A&M University, traded in his cleats for trunks and turned pro after a five-fight amateur career. He was 19-0 when he clashed with Edwin Rodriguez in November 2015. In a seesaw battle that included five knockdowns, Rodriguez knocked out Seals in the third round of a Fight of the Year contender. Seals is 3-1 since the Rodriguez battle, the lone loss coming via disqualification after he hit his opponent while he was on the ground. The winner of this can’t-miss action fight will be in line for a potential world title opportunity.

 

 “I am very excited to have signed with Top Rank, a world-class organization with the best light heavyweights in the world,” Barrera said. “I am excited about the future, but the first step is to handle business June 8 and then I can look forward to a shot at a world title. My ultimate goal is Sergey Kovalev. I’ve been chasing him my whole career. Hopefully, we can finally fight this year.”

 

“This means everything to me. I had a great opportunity with Edwin Rodriguez, but I went into that fight with a torn rotator cuff. I was basically fighting with just my right hand," Seals said. "Now, I am 100 percent healthy. This is my time. Barrera had his time. I feel good. I feel sharp. I feel young. I have sacrificed so much and have had a lot of time to reflect on the decisions I’ve made and all of the hardships I’ve gone through. On June 8, I’m going to unleash all of my frustration on Barrera. I don’t want to take anything away from Barrera. He’s a world-class fighter, but I am as well.”

Sign-up to ESPN+ at www.espnplus.com.

 

About Top Rank

Las Vegas-based Top Rank stands as the country’s premiere boxing promotions company for one reason: We take care of our fighters and our fans. For nearly half a century, Top Rank has nurtured some of the sport’s all-time greats and produced some of its most exciting bouts. It’s a practice we continue to this day, as Top Rank further expands its brand while introducing the sport of boxing to a new generation of fans.

 

From ALI to PACQUIAO

Muhammad Ali. George Foreman. Roberto Duran. Marvin Haggler. Sugar Ray Leonard. Those are just some of the all-time greats we’ve promoted during our more than 50 years in the sport.

 

Indeed, we’ve staged some of the biggest fights in history featuring its biggest stars—names and events that transcend the confines of the ring and reverberate throughout the culture. That’s how we built our global reputation as the gold standard in boxing: by developing talent, creating innovative programming, and orchestrating world-class events.

 

More recently, we’ve guided the careers of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, and Manny Pacquiao. Our current stable of champions is similarly poised for success. Vasiliy Lomachenko, Terence Crawford, Oscar Valdez, Gilberto Ramirez, Jose Ramirez: these fighters represent the best the sport has to offer, as well as its global appeal. As we continue to develop new talent, keep a look out for our many exciting young prospects and rising stars.

 

BY THE NUMBERS

9,000 Fights

1,500 Cards

22 Countries

1966 - Top Rank founded when Bob Arum began promoting Muhammad Ali

1972 - Delivered the first live boxing broadcast to HBO

1981 - Developed the first sports series for ESPN

1994 - Promoted George Formeman’s historic win over Roy Moorer

1996 - Launched a Spanish Language series on Univision

2015 - Promoted Mayweather-Pacquiao, the largest-grossing one-night sports event in history

2017 - Signed an exclusive four year programming deal with ESPN to bring free boxing back to the mainstream

 

THE DIGITAL ARENA

In the 1970s and ’80s, Top Rank founder and CEO Bob Arum was one of the first promoters to harness the power of closed-circuit and pay-per-view models of selling televised fights. He later parlayed this knowledge into ground-breaking deals with HBO, Showtime, ABC and a host of other networks. Now, Top Rank works with ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, to bring boxing back to the masses.

 

True to form, Top Rank now finds itself at the vanguard of the next wave of emerging technologies: web-based and digital marketing. We maintain a robust presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

 

Our ever-evolving website offers a taste of everything writers want and fans yearn for. From fighter bios to breaking news, we provide users with regularly updated content.

 

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. It reached 2 million subscribers in less than a year and offers fans thousands of live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, along with premium editorial content.

 

Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of MLB and NHL games, exclusive UFC, Top Rank boxing and PFL fights and events, top domestic and international soccer (Serie A, MLS, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredivisie, and more), thousands of college sports events (including football, basketball and other sports), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby and cricket, new and exclusive series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.

 

ESPN+ is available as an integrated part of the ESPN App (on mobile and connected devices) and ESPN.com. They are the industry-leading all-in-one digital sports platform, delivering a rich, personalized experience to tens of millions of fans every month.

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