By Brian Webber: Oscar Valdez will be fighting Adam ‘Blue Nose’ Lopez in a rematch in the chief support bout, while Andrew Moloney takes on unbeaten Junto Nakatani for the vacant WBO super flyweight title tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The Valdez-Lopez II and Moloney-Nakatani fights will be shown live on Top Rank on ESPN+ PPV, starting at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT)
The 32-year-old former two-division world champion Oscar Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) has been out of the ring for over a year since his loss to Shakur Stevenson in April 2022.
Does Oscar Valdez still have it?
Valdez is using the Lopez fight tonight as a warm-up to get him ready for a world title shot against WBO super featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete. Not surprisingly, ‘Blue Nose’ Lopez says he wants to upset Valdez’s plans and be the one that challenges champion Navarrete for his 130-lb belt.
Considering the amount of time that Valdez has been out of the ring, the defeat to Shakur, which was a one-sided affair, may have affected his belief enough to keep him out of action all this time. We don’t know yet how much Valdez has left after that defeat.
‘Blue Nose’ Lopez (16-4, 6 KOs) gave Valdez all he could handle in their fight in November 2019, knocking him down in the second round, and giving him all kinds of problems before being stopped prematurely in the seventh.
Lopez’s career has been up and down since, losing to Isaac Dogboe and Abraham Nova recently while beating William Encarnacion, Jason Sanchez, and Luis Coria.
In another interesting fight tonight, Andrew Moloney (25-2, 16 KOs) faces undefeated knockout artist Junto Nakatani (24-0, 18 KOs) for the vacant WBO super flyweight title.
The 32-year-old Moloney has more experience, but he’s going up against a powerful and young fighter in 25-year-old Nakatani, who looks like an unstoppable machine.
We don’t know how good Nakatani is, as he’s not faced the top fighters in the 115-lb division yet, so he will be stepping into the unknown tonight against Moloney.
Nakatani’s best wins have come against Francisco Rodriguez Jr, Ryota Yamauchi, Angel Acosta, and Milan Melindo. If Nakatani is as good as boxing fans believe him to be, Moloney won’t last long tonight under his fierce firepower.
The fight’s on tonight’s ESPN PPV card
- Devin Haney vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko
- Oscar Valdez vs. Adam Lopez
- Raymond Muratalla vs. Jeremiah Nakathila
- Andrew Moloney vs. Junto Nakatani
- Nico Ali Walsh vs. Danny Rosenberger
- Emiliano Fernando Vargas vs. Rafael Jasso
- Floyd Diaz vs. Luis Fernando Saavedra
- Abdullah Mason vs. Desmond Lyons
- Amari Jones vs. Pachino Hill
Oscar Lopez is getting older
“Everything is different. He fought a young Adam ‘Blue Nose’ Lopez, then. I only had a couple of 10 fights in me. I’ve been in the ring with some of the best in the world. I’m bigger. I’m a full 130-pounder now. When he [Oscar Valdez] fought me, I was 126 still,” said Adam Lopez to Behind The Gloves about his fight tonight against Oscar Valdez.
“I just turned 27. I’m hitting my prime. Oscar, I don’t want to put no dirt on him, but he’s getting older [32-year-old]. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, and once you’re set in your ways, you’re set in your ways. I’m not expecting anything crazy different.
“I’m coming different, a lot different than when I first fought him.
“I don’t think he’s bringing anything new to the table. I know he’s coming in shape, and he’s focused. From what I’m hearing, this fight is a tune-up fight for him to fight [Emanuel] Navarrete.
“If everything is right, I should get his opportunity. That’s what I would say, but boxing is a messed up business in a way. So whatever happens happens. The main thing I want to do is stay active. After this fight, I want to fight right away.
“I would love to fight back in Los Angeles, where I’m from. I’ve got a lot of people back home that want to see me first. So I would love to get back to LA. It’s not completely up to me, but that’s what I’ll be voicing.
Adam ‘Blue Nose’ Lopez fully prepared for Valdez
“I came and fought him on a day’s notice. I’ve had a full camp for him,” said Lopez. “This is the best shape I’ve been in. He’s definitely in for a lot. Tune in; it’s going to be a very exciting night. I’m going to put on a show, and you’ll see what I’m made of,” said ‘Blue Nose’ Lopez about his rematch with Valdez.
“I think it could be 50-50, but I’m going for Lomachenko. I’ve always been a Lomachenko fan,” said Adam Lopez about tonight’s main event clash between undisputed lightweight champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney and Vasyl Lomachenko.
“I’m going for Loma. I know he’s getting a little older. Devin is a young dog; he’s in his prime, but I think Loma still has something in his Tank and can pull it off. He’s got the experience. I don’t think Devin is going to bring anything that Loma hasn’t ever seen. He’s been in there with everybody. I got him,” said Valdez.