Scott Quigg: I'll be best in division with victory over Oscar Valdez

Scott Quigg states a victory over Oscar Valdez will make him the leading featherweight. Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Scott Quigg believes beating Oscar Valdez in March will make him the world's leading featherweight.

The English challenger says a deal is close for him to take on WBO titleholder Valdez at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, on March 10.

Quigg, 29, from Manchester, flies to Los Angeles next week to join up with trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym to prepare for his attempt to become a two-weight world champion.

"We're just waiting for the final draft of the contract to come through, we've verbally agreed everything and if everything is put in the contract then it's a done deal," Quigg told ESPN.

"It's 99 percent done."

Valdez's fellow Mexican Leo Santa Cruz, the WBA champion, is top of ESPN's latest featherweight rankings, with Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs) and Quigg (34-1-2, 25 KOs) at No 4 and 9 respectively.

But former WBA super-bantamweight champion Quigg says ending Valdez's reign in a voluntary fourth title defence should see him leap ahead of the likes of his British rivals Carl Frampton and Lee Selby, the IBF champion, as well as the other world title holders Santa Cruz and American Gary Russell Jr [WBC champion].

That would be up for debate but victory would certainly improve Quigg's chances of getting a good deal when it comes to negotiating for future fights against the likes of Frampton, who out-pointed him in a super-bantamweight unification title fight two years ago, and the winner of Welshman Selby against England's Josh Warrington, who are expected to meet in Leeds on May 19.

"I think I would become the No. 1 in the division if I win this fight," Quigg told ESPN. "They are talking about building Oscar Valdez up to be a future star and no one wants to fight him. He's unbeaten and knocks out most of his opponents.

"This is a voluntary defence for him and they want to test him, they are confident of winning but so am I. The other top featherweights never mention his name because he will fight anybody and he's dangerous.

"It's a great scene at featherweight at the moment and it's good to be in the mix. You've got Carl Frampton against Nonito Donaire [reportedly on April 7], Lee Selby against Josh Warrington, Leo Santa Cruz against Abner Mares and I'm not sure who Gary Russell Jr fights next.

"There are a lot of fights being made in the featherweight division and if I beat Oscar Valdez I will become number one in the division. He's the avoided one."

After suffering his first defeat to Northern Irishman Frampton and then moving up to featherweight, Quigg registered a third successive win with a sixth-round knockout of Ukraine's Oleg Yefimovich in a WBA title eliminator in Monte Carlo on Nov. 4.

Frampton, who lost the WBA belt to Santa Cruz a year ago, had been linked to a fight with Valdez but Quigg has beaten him to it.

Quigg will be a step up in class for Valdez, who got off the canvas to unanimously outpoint the Philippines' Genesis Servania at the Convention Center, Tucson, on Sept. 22.

Valdez, 27, who lived in Tucson aged four to nine years old before moving back to Nogales in Mexico, had to get off the canvas in the fourth round and then floored Servania in the fifth before triumphing by scores of 116-110, 115-111 and 117-109.