It’s a shot at a world title — not Youth, not Silver, not Latino. A real world title.
Albuquerque boxer Jason Sanchez will challenge Mexico’s Oscar Valdez for the latter’s World Boxing Organization featherweight title on June 8 in Reno, Nev., the promotional firm Top Rank, Inc., has announced.
The card will be televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, starting at 8 p.m.
It’s a sudden and unexpected opportunity for Sanchez (14-0, seven knockouts). “El Alacrancito” was scheduled to fight on Saturday in Tucson, Ariz., but instead will get a world title shot just 15 fights into his professional career.
Sanchez will be a huge underdog against Valdez (25-0 20 KOs), who won the WBO title in July 2016 and has successfully defended five times since then.
Nonetheless, Sanchez embraces the opportunity.
“Coming from Albuquerque, New Mexico, I knew I had to work extra hard to be noticed and to get where I’m at now,” Sanchez told espn.com. “I will be bringing this belt home to Albuquerque, to my family, my supporters, and most of all to my late brother Alan Sanchez.
“I believe he guided me down this road and that my journey is only beginning.”
Alan Sanchez was a pro junior welterweight with a 3-2 record when he died in a 2015 car crash.
Another Sanchez brother, Jose Luis, is a welterweight with a 9-1 record.
Jason Sanchez arrived at this point by upsetting Jean Carlos Rivera, a Top Rank contract fighter, in Panama on Oct. 31. Signed by Top Rank, he made his debut with the organization with a second-round TKO of Daniel Olea in February.
Valdez was to have defended on June 8 against Erick Ituarte, (21-1-1, three KOs), but the WBO declined to sanction the bout because Ituarte is not a ranked fighter by that sanctioning body.
Sanchez, who earned the WBO Youth featherweight title with his victory over Rivera, stepped in.
GOLDEN GLOVES: In Chattanooga, Tenn., New Mexico amateur boxers Abraham Perez and Sharahya Moreu advanced to the semifinals of their weight classes with victories at Golden Gloves nationals on Thursday.
Moreu, 152 pounds, decisioned Melissa Wurster of Indiana. Perez, 114 pounds, decisioned Aaron Williams of Nevada.
Perez and Moreu both are from Albuquerque. They’re representing the Colorado-New Mexico region in Chattanooga.