It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Adam “Blue Nose” Lopez. Following his spirited effort against Oscar Valdez in 2019, his profile may have soared at a rapid pace but his results weren’t exactly impressive.
With just three wins in a four-year span, Lopez’s title aspirations cratered. Yet, with his career on life support, the 27-year-old was given a golden opportunity.
In what appears to be a full circle moment, the California native has been asked to return to the scene of the crime. This Saturday night, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lopez and Valdez will become reacquainted with one another. Though he’s excited to get back on the big stage, Lopez (16-4, 6 KOs) hasn’t had the most memorable 2023. In his lone appearance of the year, the fringe contender came up woefully short against Abraham Nova, losing a wide unanimous decision.
Valdez, on the other hand, has seen his career fall a bit off the tracks as well. His WBC featherweight title? Now gone. His spotless record? A thing of the past thanks to Shakur Stevenson. Also, up until recently, his health also betrayed him.
Shortly after sulking due to his defeat to Stevenson, Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) was initially set to jump right back into the thick of things. Although a showdown against Emanuel Navarrete was firmly on his radar, Valdez was forced into the medical tent following a freak accident that led to a number of cracked ribs.
While he could have moved directly into a clash against Navarrete, the former two-division champion will look to wipe away the cobwebs in his showdown against Lopez. Should everything go according to plan, Valdez and Navarette will meet up before the end of the calendar year. Lopez though, isn’t interested in playing the role of an insignificant speed bump along Valdez’s way.
Considering his resume, a shot at a world title would appear to be incredibly unlikely. However, should he beat the odds and hand Valdez his second straight defeat, Lopez believes that his next step should be crystal clear.
“There telling me that this is supposed to be a tuneup fight for him for Navarette,” said Lopez to Seconds Out during a recent interview. “So I should obviously get his opportunity and get Navarette.”