By: Sean Crose
Oscar Valdez and Adam Lopez ran it back Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Their first fight, back in 2019, was a bit of a surprise. Valdez ended up stopping his man, but not before Lopez made him taste the mat. The 30-1 Valdez wasn’t just looking to come back from his first and only career loss, which came courtesy of Shakur Stevenson over a year earlier. then. He was looking to show the competitiveness of his first fight with the 16-4 Lopez was simply a fluke. The Valdez-Lopez match was scheduled for 10 in the junior lightweight division.
Valdez had an impressive first, stalking his man and landing well. Lopez tried to make something happen in the second, though he didn’t seem to have the power to do much – though he had knocked Valdez down once before. What’s more, Valdez seemed to have a more difficult time getting to his man throughout the round. That wasn’t the case for Valdez in the third, however, as he was able to land hard.
Lopez fought slick in the fourth, with some positive results. Valdez was able to get some shots in, though, which could possibly have had a cumulative effect on Lopez as the fight wore on. The fifth showed a rare skill Valdez had possession of, the ability to land when his opponent was stepping back at an angle. Lopez was having his moments, but his punches weren’t as effective as Valdez’ were.
The sixth round was a better chapter for Lopez, who was able to hit and run more than he previously had. The underdog also came alive on Valdez at the end of the seventh. Unfortunately for Lopez, Valdez’ greater power made him the more effective puncher. All the dancing, running and showboating Lopez employed in the eighth probably got him nowhere on the judge’s cards.
Valdez rocked his man hard and repeatedly in the ninth. A head butt seemed to have busted Lopez’ nose early in the tenth. To his credit, the man kept fighting. Yet Valdez beat on him hard in the final minute of the round. Both men fell, but got up quickly. Lopez survived the round gamely, but the fight clearly belonged to Valdez.
“Nothing personal,” Valdez said after being awarded a decision win from the judges. “To the contrary. I love Adam Lopez, I love his father.”
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