By Robert Segal: Adam ‘Blue Nose’ Lopez says he’s going to upset former two-division world champion Oscar Valdez’s plans for a title fight at 130 when the two meet in a rematch this Saturday night on ESPN PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) is using the tough ‘Blue Nose’ Lopez (16-4, 6 KOs) as a tune-up opponent in their 10 round scheduled fight on the Devin Haney vs. Vasily Lomachenko card to prepare him for a world title shot against WBO super featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete.
The 32-year-old Valdez hasn’t fought in over a year since he was easily outboxed by Shakur Stevenson in a 12-round unanimous decision loss in April 2022.
Valdez stopped ‘Blue Nose’ Lopez in the seventh round in November 2019 in a fight that many boxing fans felt was stopped prematurely. Lopez had knocked Valdez down in round two and was giving him huge problems throughout the contest.
Since that fight, Lopez has been beaten by Isaac Dogboe and Abraham ‘Super’ Nova. The loss to Nova was bad for Lopez, as he was dominated from start to finish, getting dropped twice en route to losing a lopsided 10 round unanimous decision last January.
Oscar Valdez: “I’m extremely excited. It’s been a year since my last fight, and coming off a loss [to Shakur Stevenson in April 2022], it’s motivating. It’s not how you lost. It’s how you come back. You come back strong, or you decide to come to stay small,” said Valdez during today’s final press conference for his fight this Saturday night.
“I just want to come back, make a statement, and go on. This is what I feel like I’ve been born to do. I’ve been fighting since I was eight years old, and I can’t wait to be in the ring. It felt like an eternity this long year.
Adam ‘Blue Nose’ Lopez: “I am surprised it’s happening. Oscar said he’d give me the rematch after our first fight [in 2019], but it never came about. He went on and won his world title. We went our separate ways, but we’ve come back full circle, and I think it’s a great time that we both fight at this time in this card.
“It’s a huge fight. People have been wanting to see it, and I’m very excited for it. Eric Brown is a great coach. He’s brought out the best in me. Every day I’ve been in the gym, making sure I’m on my P’s and Q’s, or else I might get smacked that day.
“He’s definitely an old-school coach and has definitely pushed me to my limits every day, and I think he got the best out of me this camp, for sure.”
Oscar Valdez: “Like he said after our first fight, we said we were going to give him a rematch, and it was perfect timing. I want to thank Bob, Top Rank, and my manager for making this fight happen. This is what I love to do. I love to be in the gym, I love training, I love fighting, and you guys aren’t going to see anything different on Saturday night.
“You learn from Eddy Reynoso. Eddy is a great trainer. I always thank Eddy for giving me the time that I need to keep improving because we all know he has the big guy, the face of boxing, Canelo Alvarez. That will take a lot of time from him.
“Him will give me the time and effort to keep on improving and learning. We always work on many things, but one thing that is clear to me is that he always works in the defense area. It doesn’t mean we won’t be offensive at the time, but we always have to keep that defense at every moment.
“My fight with Shakur Stevenson was utterly different because Shakur Stevenson is a great fighter. He’s very technical and has a great ring IQ. It was a great learning experience fighting Shakur.
“We said before that we were going to have a rematch [with Adam Lopez], and many people were commenting of wanting the rematch because it was an early stoppage. I said, ‘Okay, we’ll do it.’ Eventually, we were going to have to wind up doing it. I think right now is the perfect moment, and we’re ready.”
Adam Lopez: “I’m a different fighter. When he fought me, I was 23 years old with 15 fights. I’m 27 now, have 21 fights, and have been in there with some of the best since then. I’ve taken some losses, but I’ve learned from those losses. I’ve never turned down no fights, and I take hard fights every time I’m out there and learn every single time.
“I’m learning inside and outside the ring. At the time I’m at right now, I’m the best I’ve felt, the best I’ve been, and the best shape I’ve been in. It’s a different story. If he thinks it will be an easy fight, he’s in for a long night.
“I’m here to mess up the game plans, for sure,” said Lopez when asked if he wants to play spoiler for Oscar Valdez facing WBO super featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete next.
Oscar Valdez: “I’ll just let my fists do the talking on Saturday night.”