Abraham Nova moved down to the featherweight division in 2021 due to the opportunities he thought he could exploit at the 126-pound limit.

A fifth-round knockout loss to Robeisy Ramirez in his last fight convinced Nova that he needed to move back up to junior lightweight. The Albany, New York native will make his return to the 130-pound division Saturday night, when he’ll meet Adam Lopez in a 10-round fight on the Efe Ajagba-Stephan Shaw undercard at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

Nova (21-1, 15 KOs) and Lopez (16-3, 6 KOs, 1 NC), of Glendale, California, will box in the last of seven fights ESPN+ will stream before coverage shifts to ESPN for the Ajagba-Shaw and Guido Vianello-Jonnie Rice heavyweight fights at 10 p.m. ET.

“Adam Lopez, he’s a complete, well-rounded fighter,” Nova told BoxingScene.com. “He’s a great fighter. I don’t expect nothing but a good action bout from him. He’s been tested. He’s been in with good fighters. This will really show why I’m not the other fighters he’s been fighting. You know, he’s a good fighter, but I feel like I reached a level higher than he is. I’m at a different level when it comes to the competition he has faced. But credit to him – he’s a good fighter.”

Lopez’s losses have all come against current or former world champions in Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs), Oscar Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) and Isaac Dogboe (24-2, 15 KOs). Nova has lost only to Ramirez (11-1, 7 KOs), a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and he hopes a win against Lopez pushes him toward a title shot.

“Winning this fight will show people that what happened was a – I don’t wanna say a mistake, but something that, you know, you can’t look past me,” Nova said. “Hopefully, I can get a title shot at 130. I would still like to fight [Emanuel] Navarrete, Oscar Valdez. But my main focus is on Adam Lopez.”

Nova, who will oppose Lopez on his 29th birthday, feels healthier and stronger than he did prior to meeting Ramirez in a featherweight fight ESPN televised June 18 from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York. Ramirez drilled Nova with a left hand that knocked Nova flat on his back and caused referee Charlie Fitch to halt their fight at 2:20 of the fifth round.

“In that fight, I don’t know how to explain it, but I didn’t feel good,” Nova recalled. “There was a couple times I was not gonna take the fight because of the way I was feeling. But me being a fighter, I took the fight and disregarded everything else. Going into that fight, I was just surviving, to be honest. I was dehydrated, I was weak and I wasn’t fighting at my best. I can’t really say anything about what I learned and whatnot, because I wasn’t there physically.”

In hindsight, Nova realizes he should’ve withdrawn from the Ramirez match.

“I was gonna pull out a couple times,” Nova said. “I didn’t tell nobody. I kept it to myself because I knew they would pull me from the fight, and I didn’t want that to happen. I really felt that I’m different, that I could manage, but I realized I’m human, like everybody else.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.