LOS ANGELES – Carlos Adames learned an invaluable lesson when he lost to Patrick Teixeira two years ago.

Adames admits he underestimated Teixeira and prepared accordingly for their WBO junior middleweight title fight in November 2019. The Dominican contender fared well during the first half of their 12-round, 154-pound championship match, only to have a better-conditioned Teixeira take control during the second half of a bout the Brazilian southpaw won by unanimous decision.

That defeat cost Adames a world title, a lot of money and his promotional contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. Determined to learn from his costly mistake, Adames trained harder than ever for his high-stakes fight against Sergiy Derevyanchenko on the pay-per-view portion of the Gervonta Davis-Isaac Cruz undercard Sunday night at Staples Center.

Adames (20-1, 16 KOs) moved up to the 160-pound limit for his middleweight debut to box one of the top contenders in that division.

Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko (13-3, 10 KOs) lost a one-sided decision to WBC middleweight champ Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) in his most recent bout, which took place 14 months ago. His two previous losses – a split decision to Daniel Jacobs in October 2018 and a unanimous decision after a brutal battle with Gennadiy Golovkin in October 2019 – were closely contested bouts that warranted rematches.

If Adames can upset Derevyanchenko, who is listed as a 4-1 favorite, he’ll find himself in position to land a middleweight title shot.

“It absolutely motivated me a lot,” Adames told BoxingScene.com when asked about his loss to Teixeira. “And it also helped me learn very valuable lessons, because I learned that it doesn’t matter how much talent you have if you don’t have the conditioning. It motivated me to train even harder because talent can only take you so far. Conditioning is key. And then, also, the fact that it was a close fight, I wanted to chase that dream again because I know that I can make it.”

The confident Adames thought Teixeira (31-2, 22 KOs), who had been knocked out in the second round of a middleweight match by Curtis Stevens in May 2016, would offer less resistance in their fight for a then-vacant WBO belt at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

“I also learned to not overlook opponents anymore,” Adames said. “That was a very valuable lesson, too. I did underestimate him. I didn’t focus and concentrate as much during training camp as I perhaps should have. So, you can see it starting in the seventh round of that fight, when he started landing punches and I wasn’t able to land what I wanted. That turned the tide in that fight.”

Teixeira, who later lost that title to Argentina’s Brian Castano, dropped Adames during the seventh round and defeated him by scores of 116-111, 114-113 and 114-113. That knockdown enabled Teixeira to avoid a majority draw.

Derevyanchenko-Adames is the second of three undercard fights Showtime will distribute before Davis encounters Cruz. The first pay-per-view undercard fight is set to start just after 8 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. PT ($74.99).

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