Scott Quigg says Oscar Valdez fight doesn't feel like an away bout
Scott Quigg makes his U.S. debut against Oscar Valdez on Saturday, but the English challenger says it does not feel like an away fight.
Quigg attempts to become a two-weight world champion against WBO featherweight titleholder Valdez at the StubHub Center, Carson, California.
It is Quigg's fourth featherweight fight since he suffered his first professional defeat on points to British rival Carl Frampton in a world super-bantamweight title unification clash two years ago.
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For the last year, Quigg (34-1-2, 25 KOs) has been based at trainer Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California.
"It's something that I feel is like normal fighting in America, even though I haven't done it before, because I've been training at the Wild Card with Freddie," Quigg told ESPN. "In the past, I've trained over in LA and then come over to fight in the UK and Monaco, so you're dealing with a change of environment.
"Now I'm staying over in LA I won't get jet lag to deal with before the fight. It will feel better and I will be comfortable with it.
"There will be a lot of Mexicans there, but there were a lot of Frampton's fans there when I fought him.
"It's irrelevant, the hostile atmosphere. It doesn't bother me. To other fighters having a hostile crowd it could affect them. Call me weird, but it makes it more enjoyable for me, it spurs me on."
Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs), 27, who lived in Tucson aged four to nine years old before moving back to Nogales in Mexico, makes a fourth defence after getting off the canvas to beat Genesis Servania by unanimous decision on Sept. 22.
Valdez, 27, also trains in California and sparred with Quigg, 29, last year.
"I've not fought anyone I've sparred with before, so it will be a bit different," Quigg told ESPN. "We sparred four or five times at the start of last year. They were cracking spars, close and if the fight is like them the fans are in for a treat.
"In sparring, you see little things you can exploit. But I've had two fights since, so has he, and we've developed as fighters since, we've got better.
"The main thing is to pick up his bad habits and flaws. When you are studying tapes of an opponent, you don't necessarily pick up as much about a fighter.
"So it's good having been in the ring with him and I'm confident I can get this fight won and become a two-weight world champion.
"I don't know how smoothly his camps have run but I know what he does well -- he can punch and box a bit. He still has vulnerabilities -- he went down twice in his last fight and he's not the most difficult to hit.
"So there are things I can exploit."
Valdez's fellow Mexican Leo Santa Cruz, the WBA champion, is top of ESPN's latest featherweight rankings, with Valdez and Quigg at No 4 and 9 respectively.
Quigg feels his decision to switch trainers from Joe Gallagher to Roach has helped him and was left inspired by training alongside four-weight world champion Miguel Cotto -- now retired -- last year.
"It has been great training with Freddie and I feel I've been improving all the time," Quigg told ESPN.
"I've had 37 fights so we're not going to reinvent my style or anything at this stage, but I'm being educated about how to use what I've got most effectively and how to set things up and ring dodge.
"We can all throw some shots but it's throwing them at the right times and the right way. I feel I'm being educated every day in the gym.
"I was working alongside Cotto before Christmas in the last three or four weeks of his last training camp ever. He was showing me little things and that was massively appreciated and inspirational.
"Cotto has been one of my favourite fighters over the years, one of the biggest names in boxing for a number of years, and I got the chance to train alongside him.
"I was over the moon to get the chance because I've always liked his style and seen some similarities to his style and mine.
"At close up I was able to see his professionalism and he did everything, didn't cut corners.
"That's what you've got to do to stay at the top as long as he has. You have to leave no stone unturned and that's what I'm doing for this camp."