PHOTOS: Oscar Valdez Rises From the Canvas to Stop Adam Lopez in Seven

Oscar Valdez overcame adversity on his way to defeating Adam Lopez on Saturday night (Photo; Mikey Williams – Top Rank)

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By Chris Robinson

On Saturday night, Nov. 30, former WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez rose in weight for a much harder-than-expected duel with once-beaten prospect Adam Lopez.  The fight was aired on the ESPN + app, from the Chelsea inside of the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, with Valdez rising in weight for his first official fight in the junior lightweight division.

Valdez (27-0, 21 KO’s) was originally scheduled to face off with Andres Gutierrez, but the fight fell through after Gutierrez weighed in at 141 pounds on Friday, 11 pounds over the contracted super featherweight limit of 130 pounds where the fight was to take place. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was livid, kicking Gutierrez and his team out of the hotel even, as they looked for a replacement.

Ambitious Adam Lopez was scheduled to fight on the undercard, and was elevated to main event following Gutierrez’s mishap. He ended up making a name for himself and giving Valdez one hell of a fight.

Lopez (13-2, 6 KO’s) showed excellent boxing ability, even dropping Valdez in round two after a right-left combination, and appeared to build an early lead as the rounds progressed. Valdez showed his professionalism in rising from the knockdown and pressing forward, but he was definitely in for a fight.

Valdez broke through in the seventh, as a big right hand, followed by a glancing left hook, put Lopez down. Lopez rose and fought back, and didn’t appear to be on the verge of being stopped, yet referee Russell Mora decided to intervene and call a halt to the action after Valdez flurried.

With this fight being a WBC eliminator, Valdez is now in line to face off with the division’s champion, Miguel Berchelt, who was ringside last night.

“I was very surprised,” said Valdez post-fight. “I take my hat off to Adam Lopez. He’s a great fighter, great warrior, just like his father [the late Hector Lopez] was. I just got hit. This is boxing. I prepared myself for two, three months for Gutierrez, but that’s no excuse. This kid is a warrior.”

For Valdez, a date with Berchelt appeals to him most at this point.

“Berchelt is a true champion inside the ring and outside the ring,” said Valdez. “Fans love him. That’s the one I want to fight. He has that WBC belt, and he’s trying to take it back home.”

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Chris Robinson can be reached at CRobinson@hustleboss.com

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