Oscar Valdez catches a break against Adam Lopez!
When a last minute replacement goes wrong! In what was supposed to be an easy night for former WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (27-0, 21 KO’s) turned out to be a much tougher fight than expected.
Valdez had to survive an early knockdown against late substitute Adam Lopez (13-2-1, 6 KO’s) in order to grab a victory by controversial seventh-round stoppage at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Lopez was taking this fight on thirty-hours notice after his original opponent Andres Gutierrez came in eleven-pounds over the junior lightweight weight limit. However, the 23-year-old sent shock-waves through the Vegas crowd as he put Valdez down late in round two by way of a beautiful 45 degree half hook/half uppercut.
During the early rounds, Lopez was doing a terrific job of boxing. He used his advantages in height and reach to keep the fight on the outside. The Glendale, California product was able to land the jab and constantly step around Valdez who found it difficult closing the distance. Despite his inexperience, the youngster was feinting like an experienced vet!
The middle rounds saw the confidence of Lopez grow as he became more assertive. Then suddenly from nowhere the power of Valdez struck as midway through round seven, he dropped Lopez with his signature left hook.
This is where things got messy. Valdez was coming on, going for the finish. Yes, he landed with some right hands and left hooks. However, Lopez was clear-headed and fighting back. However, with seven seconds to go in the round, referee Russell Mora suddenly stepped in and stopped the fight as a right hook landed for the former champion.
Timothy Bradley, sitting ringside covering the fight for ESPN felt it was a quick stoppage calling Mora’s move “a terrible decision.” That sentiment was echoed by boxing fans throughout social media.
While Valdez ultimately won, it’s troubling that his leaky defense showed itself once again. To make matters worse, up until the fight was stopped, he was getting out-boxed and knocked down by a naturally smaller man with only thirteen professional fights!
Afterwards, Valdez said he would love to fight WBC super featherweight Miguel Berchelt (37-1, 33KO). The WBC champ just defended his title for the sixth time after stopping former WBA champion Jason Sosa in four rounds Novemer 2.
In attendance to watch the action, Berchelt said he was surprised Valdez had so much trouble in the ring tonight, but he’s more than willing to fight him. Look for these men to square off against one another in the Spring of 2020.
By: Michael Wilson Jr