Oscar Valdez , Mexico's top boxing hope at the London Olympics , is getting a lot of attention for both his athleticism and self-confident attitude. During a recent media event the young Mexican boxer said he has what it takes to defeat the 2011 world amateur champion in his division, Cuban Lazaro Alvarez.
"I know I can beat Alvarez; in the last Pan American Games he was better than me and beat me in the final, but I've studied him. I know his style and I can defeat him," the 21-year-old batamweight told Efe.
So far during the 2012 London Olympics Valdez has been on fire. In just his first match, Valdez beat India’s best amateur, Shiva Thapa. Many expected this to be a close match, but Valdez made quick work of his opponent and out scored him in all three rounds.
Valdez is an incredible boxer and has the credentials to back up his confident statements. Following his 2008 Olympic appearance at just 17 years old, he went up to featherweight and won the AIBA Youth World Championship. The tournament was held Guadalajara and he showed the experience gained beating his opponents from Barbados, Uzbekistan, Kazahkztan, Ukraine and Russia. Then kept his winning streak going by winning bronze at the 2009 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Milan. Valdez explained that he has improved even further since his last major tournament.
"I've matured since I won the bronze medal in Italy. I was 18 years old then and now I'm 21 and I feel stronger.”
The amateur boxer said the London Games would be his last Olympics before turning to be a professional.
In Mexico's Olympic history, boxing has produced more medals for the country than any other sport. Mexico has won two golds, three silvers and seven bronzes in boxing, although it has not captured a single Olympic boxing medal since Cristian Bejarano's bronze at lightweight in the 2000 Sydney Games, a drought Valdez is intent on ending.
"I want to end that. I have the quality and I'll give everything I have," Valdez said.