The former featherweight world champion, Oscar Valdez moved up in weight and fought at super featherweight last weekend against Adam Lopez. This came after there was late drama as his opponent Andres Gutierrez came in over the weight limit.
Up stepped Lopez on a day notice and nearly shocked his more decorated opponent.
Lopez had Valdez down early in the fight and was likely up on the cards in the seventh round when Valdez caught him. The referee stepped in to stop the fight despite only seven seconds remaining and Lopez apparently not in any major discomfort.
“The stoppage I think was a little premature,” Lopez exclusively told World Boxing News. “If the ref knew there were only seven seconds left, then I think he would have let it go.
“He is doing his job and I can’t be mad at him for that. He saw something that I guess no one else saw but it was definitely a little short in my opinion.”
Despite suffering his second loss and first stoppage, Lopez was impressive in the fight and takes heart from the performance.
“I think I did pretty good, a lot of people saw what I can do,” he said. “I definitely was nervous in the fight, for me it was just a lot to take in, the build up to the fight was huge.
“It was hard to prepare for it on a day’s notice but regardless I feel I did pretty well against a world champion. I feel I showed I belong in there.”
With the referee stopping the fight somewhat too early according to most observers and with Lopez ahead on at least one of the scorecards then a rematch wouldn’t be out of the equation.
“I asked for a rematch,” Lopez explained. “Oscar said he would give it to me but that’s him probably prior to speaking (to his team).
“It’s up to him and his team who will have the final say but on our side, we definitely want the rematch. Maybe in a year, year and a half.
“We just got to play it out but I’m definitely going back to 126 to fight for a world title then hopefully up to 130 and fight Valdez.
“126 is actually my weight class. I’m comfortable there, I’m still young, I’m 23 years old. I’m going to eventually grow into 130 but there’s no need to rush it. Like I said, I’m young, I’ve got time.”
Having been preparing to defend his NABF title until Andres Gutierrez weighed in an astonishing eleven pounds over the limit, leading to him being pulled from the Valdez fight, Lopez was promoted to the main event and grasped the opportunity.
“Eleven pounds! You didn’t even try to make weight,” said Lopez. “It’s very unheard of, it’s strange but worked out in my favor that he decided to come in so heavy. We had Thanksgiving the night before, who knows, definitely unprofessional.
“I really doubt he will fight again for Top Rank or any big promoters but it worked out in my favor so I can’t be mad at it.”
Lopez is confident his performance will be the chance to open up doors for him.
“I definitely think it’s going to open doors up,” Lopez told me. “Might be a hard time getting fights at 126 now but I’m sure Top Rank will make it happen.
“People want to see me fight so that will mean bigger shows, bigger paydays and bigger fights. It’s going to open up so many doors, I’m really excited for 2020, it’s going to be a big year for me.”
Mick Kane is a Staff Writer to World Boxing News. Follow Mick on Twitter @MickKaneMMA