Valdez gunning for KO

MURRAY GREIG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Three consecutive draws is hard enough for any fighter to swallow.

But for a featherweight with limited options in terms of national competition, it could be downright devastating.

But Edmonton's Omar (The Mexicutioner) Valdez is taking the high road heading into Friday's semi-main event against Winnipeg's Tim Watts at The Palace banquet hall.

"Yeah ... it's discouraging, but in a funny way it kind of pumps me up because there's more pressure on me to make sure this one doesn't go to the judges," said Valdez (4-2-3).

"Having three draws in a row is kind of weird because it means I haven't won a fight in almost two years -- but it also means I've been in there with guys who have come to fight hard. I'd rather have that than three easy wins against stiffs."

A stylish, intelligent fighter, Valdez is the No. 1-ranked contender for the vacant Canadian title. But that's the fistic equivalent of being the biggest fish in a very small pond.

"This fight is a chance to get back on track, so I won't be satisfied with anything less than a knockout," he said.

"That'll be the payoff for all the gym work to get the weight off. After that, I'll be ready to go again in the summer."

Promoter Sheldon Hinton has already pencilled in Valdez for a Canadian title bout in July.

In other pro prelims on Friday's card, Hinton is showcasing Edmonton heavyweight Rob Nichols (vs. Vancouver's Tiny Brown); flashy super featherweight Arash Usmanee (vs. Minnesota's John Hoffman); and Edmonton heavyweight Clayton Gladu (vs. Hamilton's Ray Kovinic).

Five amateur bouts will round out the card, highlighted by the Panther Gym's Lorretta Armstrong vs. Canadian champion Susan Haas from the Cougar Boxing Club, at 154 pounds.


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