12 - 2 - 0
Weight 135 lbs (61.36 kg)
Home Renton, Washington,
Unbeaten southpaw lightweight Jose Valenzuela is one of the hottest young fighters in the game, combining speed, power and ring intelligence beyond his years. Read Bio
Loss vs Chris Colbert
Mar 25, 2023 / MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Jose Valenzuela LOSES to Chris Colbert by UD in Round 10 of 10
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Jose Valenzuela Fights
LOSS vs Chris Colbert 17-1-0
Mar 25, 2023 • MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Chris Colbert WINS against Jose Valenzuela by UD in Round 10 of 10
Loss vs Edwin De Los Santos 15-1-0
Sep 04, 2022 • Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California
Jose Valenzuela LOSES to Edwin De Los Santos by KO in Round 3 of 10
Win vs Francisco Vargas 27-3-2
Apr 16, 2022 • AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Francisco Vargas by KO in Round 1 of 10
Win vs Austin Dulay 15-4-0
Dec 18, 2021 • The Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Austin Dulay by TKO in Round 4 of 10
Win vs Deiner Barrio 22-4-1
Sep 18, 2021 • Mechanics Bank Arena, Bakersfield, California
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Deiner Barrio by UD in Round 10 of 10
Win vs Donte Strayhorn 12-3-0
Aug 21, 2021 • T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Donte Strayhorn by TKO in Round 4 of 8
Win vs Nelson Hampton 7-3-0
May 15, 2021 • Dignity Health Sports Park , Carson, California, USA
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Nelson Hampton by KO in Round 1 of 8
Win vs Clay Burns 9-10-2
Feb 27, 2021 • Shrine Exposition Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Clay Burns by KO in Round 4 of 8
Win vs Zack Kuhn 10-5-1
Aug 29, 2020 • Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, California, USA
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Zack Kuhn by KO in Round 1 of 6
Win vs Charles Clark 2-4-1
Sep 28, 2019 • Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Charles Clark by KO in Round 1 of 4
Win vs Eric Manriquez 7-6-1
Jun 23, 2019 • Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Eric Manriquez by UD in Round 4 of 4
Win vs Christian Velez 1-1-0
Mar 16, 2019 • AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, USA
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Christian Velez by KO in Round 4 of 4
Win vs Hugo Rodriguez 0-0-0
Oct 13, 2018 • CHI Health Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Hugo Rodriguez by UD in Round 4 of 4
Win vs Humberto Tellez 0-1-0
Sep 22, 2018 • Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Jose Valenzuela WINS against Humberto Tellez by UD in Round 4 of 4
Jose Valenzuela “Rayo”
- WINS 12
- LOSSES 2
- DRAWS 0
- KOs 8
Weight 135 lbs (61.36 kg)
Height 5'10" (1.78 m)
Reach 70" (178 cm)
BornMay 25, 1999
Born inLos Mochis, Sinaloa
Trains inRenton, WA
Fighter data provided by BoxRec Ltd. View disclaimer
Jose Valenzuela Bio
Proudly representing the fighting tradition of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, unbeaten southpaw lightweight Jose Valenzuela is one of the hottest young fighters in the game, combining speed, power and ring intelligence beyond his years.
‘A Miracle That I Survived’
When Jose Valenzuela was three-years-old, he suffered a near-death experience as a result of a hit-and-run in his native Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.
“I was playing soccer in the neighborhood, passing the ball back and forth with my mother watching. But she had to go into the laundromat for a second. That’s when the ball rolled under a car and I went to get it. I was under the car when this guy, high on drugs, got in the car and just took off. Our neighbors called out to him and got him to stop,” Valenzuela said.
“But he had already dragged me and broken a lot of the bones in my body. All of the neighbors lifted the car and got me out of there, but I was really close to death. At the hospital, doctors said that the next 72 hours were critical in determining my survival, that they couldn’t operate because they said the procedure might kill me. It’s a miracle that I survived, and it took me nearly a year to learn how to walk again.”
Valenzuela is the youngest of three siblings with two older sisters born to a hard-working mother and father, the latter in landscaping and construction.
“When I was little, I always had a lot of energy,” said Valenzuela, who had moved with his family to Seattle, Washington, by the age of four. “My Dad said I was like a ball of lightning and fast with my hands. He would always say, ‘He’s el rayo,’ which means ‘The lightning,’ in Spanish. I’m so used to being called by that nickname.”
An eight-year-old Valenzuela “tried soccer, but I was fighting my teammates, so they kicked me out and told my Dad I needed to try Karate and stuff like that.”
Two years later, Valenzuela walked into the Azteca Boxing Club in Renton, Seattle, and discovered the sport he has loved ever since.
Valenzuela’s amateur record of 53-5 included winning the Ringside World Championship and Washington State Golden Gloves Championship as a 16-year-old in 2015.
A Bond Built With The Benavidez's
It was two years later through a mutual friend that an 18-year-old Valenzuela met current trainer, Jose Benavidez Sr., whose sons are unbeaten two-time 168-pound world champion David Benavidez and current 154-pound contender Jose Benavidez Jr.
“I was living in Seattle, had no coach and was training myself at the gym of our mutual friend, Isaac Tadeo. Isaac reached out to Mr. Benavidez time after time until Mr. Benavidez finally got annoyed and told him to bring me down to Oregon where they were staying. I stayed across the street from them in a hotel and was put through some of the hardest work week after week. Coach Benavidez said I had raw talent but the only problem was where I was going to live,” said Valenzuela, a southpaw.
“My parents, having low income, couldn’t afford me living in a hotel. On our way home we stopped at the grocery store where my mom asked a lady if she knew anyone who was renting a room. The woman said ‘Yes I do.’ I slept on an air mattress at a woman’s house for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, David, Jose Jr. and I clicked really well. They noticed my living situation, took me under their wing and asked me to move in with them. They've treated me like family ever since.”
A 19-year-old Valenzuela weighed 128 ½ and 128 pounds for his first pair of professional four-round unanimous decision victories in 2018, over Humberto Tellez in September and Hugo Rodriguez in October.
“Rayo” stopped two of four opponents in 2019 and 2020, the former comprising a fourth-round knockout of Christian Velez in March, a four-round unanimous decision over Eric Manriquez in June and a one-knockdown, 66-second stoppage of Charles Clarke in September.
Valenzuela was 6-0 (3 KOs) following a three-knockdown first-round stoppage of Zack Kuhn in August 2020, having benefited from the guidance of Jose Sr. and working alongside the Benavidez siblings.
“I’m a very active fighter, because I grew up watching and appreciating fighters like Manny Pacquiao and Julio Cesar Chavez,” Valenzuela said.
“I’m a good boxer and I’m good on my toes, but I sometimes get bored of that. I like to fight in the trenches, but I know I have to be smart and use my defense also.”
‘Ready To Make A Big Statement’
Valenzuela went 5-0 (4 KOs) in 2021, including a three-knockdown, fourth-round stoppage of Clay Burns in February, a one-knockdown, first-round stoppage of Nelson Hampton in May, and a one-knockdown, fourth-round stoppage of Donte Strahorn in August.
In September, Valenzuela earned a unanimous decision over Deiner Berrio, who entered at 22–3–1 (13 KOs). Valenzuela dominated his last fight in December by four-knockdown, fourth-round stoppage of southpaw Austin Dulay, who slipped to 14-3, 10 KOs.
“I’m ready to put on a show and make a big statement against any of the champions. I just want to fight the best. I have to let the whole division know that I’m here,” Valenzuela said.
“I’m happy that I was successful. I showed everyone that I'm a solid fighter and that I'm here to stay. The greatest thing is that a lot of people got to know me based on my performances, but I’m never satisfied. I believe I'm the future of this game.”
Valenzuela continued to make it look easy as the level of opposition increased. On April 16, 2022, he took on former world champion Francisco Vargas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, texas, on the Spence-Ugas SHOWTIME pay-per-view.
Valenzuela (12-0, 8 knockouts) made a startling statement about his punching power and future in the lightweight division, landing a looping left hand that sent Vargas crashing to the canvas, prompting the referee to immediately stop the scheduled 10-round lightweight bout at 1:25 of the first round. Valenzuela has now stopped seven of his last eight opponents.
“I worked hard for this and stayed calm, and I stayed patient and went for it when I saw the opening,” said Valenzuela, who referenced the support of Benavidez, standing in the ring next to him. “Working alongside this guy right here, David Benavidez, he has shown me a lot of things in and out. I look to see what he does and what he goes through. He tells me to be patient and that’s what I did. I was expecting (Vargas) to get up but when I took a look back, I knew. It was a good knockout.”
A SHOCKING LOSS
Valenzuela was scheduled to face former champ Jezreel Corrales as part of a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. When Corrales had to withdraw due to VIDA issues, in stepped in hard-hitting Dominican Edwin De Los Santos on just days' notice.
De Los Santos (15-1, 14 KOs) delivered, scoring an upset via third-round TKO as he dropped the previously unbeaten Valenzuela three times before referee Ray Corona waived off the bout 1:08 into the round.
“I didn't expect De Los Santos to be as aggressive as he was in the fight,” said Valenzuela. “He gave it out as he good as he took. I just want to focus on getting back in the ring and redeeming myself."
De Los Santos looked sharp from the outset, staggering Valenzuela in round one, although Valenzuela was able to survive the round. Early in round two Valenzuela was staggered again, but was able to shift the momentum temporarily, landing a powerful left hook that put De Los Santos down.
After rising to his feet, De Los Santos was able to regain momentum with a series of right hooks that put Valenzuela down hard. De Los Santos was penalized by the referee for throwing an extra shot while Valenzuela was down, which gave Valenzuela extra time to recover and make it through the round.
De Los Santos looked the fresher fighter heading into the round and was able to drop Valenzuela again early in the frame. Valenzuela again was able to get back on his feet but after a follow up flurry from De Los Santos, the referee jumped in and officially waived off the fight.
A DISPUTED DECISION
On March 25, 2023, Valenzuela lost a close, 10-round decision to Chris Colbert at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. All three judges saw the fight 95-94 in favor of Colbert, who stated his willingness to give Valenzuela a rematch in his post-fight interview.
“I beat him,” said Valenzuela. “I want to thank everyone who came out here to support me. I thought I won. I was hitting him with the harder shots. I dropped him. I dominated. But it is what it is.”
In the first, Valenzuela sent a charging Colbert stumbling to the mat with a picture perfect counter left hook. Throughout the fight Valenzuela held the edge in power punching, landing 117 power shots to Colbert’s 77.
“He over-extended and I caught him with a left hook (on the knockdown),” said Valenzuela. “He didn’t hurt me once in this fight. I was having fun. I enjoyed every minute of it. I won. I was having fun. I wanted to show the world what I could do. I can box and I can bang.”
Colbert, who also came into the fight off his first loss, was able to show his fortitude in rising to his feet after the knockdown and making it through the round with a significant amount of time left in the frame. The Brooklyn native Colbert was able to box effectively throughout the remainder of the fight and avoid a return trip to the mat, using a jab that he out landed Valenzuela with at a 47 to 15 clip.
The middle rounds saw tremendous back and forth action from both competitors. After Valenzuela spent much of round six blitzing Colbert and forcing him to the ropes, Colbert responded in round seven with effective movement and pot shots. After Valenzuela was again successful pushing Colbert to the ropes in round eight, Colbert responded smartly and fought at an effective distance in round nine.
In the final round, Valenzuela appeared to punctuate a victory by hurting Colbert in the closing seconds with a volley of power shots, but he was ultimately edged on all three cards before calling for a rematch with Colbert.
“I felt like I put it on him,” said Valenzuela. “Definitely I’d like a rematch. I have to be fair and square. I went through a lot. I worked hard. It was tough and to come out like this – it sucks.”