LAS VEGAS – There was no doubt about Oscar Valdez’s victory over Adam Lopez in their rematch.

The former featherweight and junior lightweight landed the harder punches throughout their second fight Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Lopez, who dropped Valdez in the second round of their first fight, had trouble keeping an aggressive Valdez off of him throughout their 10-round rematch on the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko undercard.

Judges Max De Luca (98-92), Benoit Roussel (98-91) and Don Trella (97-93) all scored their fight for Valdez by comfortable margins.

Now that he has beaten Lopez in their second fight, Valdez (31-1, 23 KOs) is expected to challenge Emanuel Navarrete for the WBO junior lightweight title at some point in the fall. Valdez was scheduled to fight Navarrete (37-1, 31 KOs) for the then-vacant WBO belt February 3 at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, but Valdez aggravated a rib injury and withdrew from that fight.

Mexico’s Valdez ended a 12-month layoff when he opposed Lopez (16-5, 6 KOs, 1 NC), of Glendale, California. Prior to Saturday night, he hadn’t fought since Shakur Stevenson easily out-pointed him in their 12-round, 130-pound title unification fight in April 2022 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Lopez lost their rematch much more definitively than he lost their first fight in November 2019. Valdez dropped and stopped Lopez in the seventh round of a fight Lopez took on barely 24 hours’ notice, but Lopez and others questioned the stoppage of referee Russell Mora.

An accidental clash of heads might’ve broken Lopez’s nose a little less than 40 seconds into the 10th and final round. Lopez, who took a flush left hook right after the head-butt, initially turned away from Valdez and blood quickly began pouring from his nose.

Though hurt then and again later in the 10th round, Lopez managed to survive to the final bell. Lopez went down with a few seconds to go in the 10th round, but referee Allen Huggins ruled that he didn’t go down from a punch.

Valdez seemed to affect Lopez with both body and head shots in the ninth round, but Lopez displayed toughness by remaining on his feet. Lopez went down with 1:55 to go in the ninth round, but it was correctly ruled a slip.

Lopez finally gained some momentum toward the end of the seventh round, when he backed Valdez into the ropes and threw hard shots at his body.

Valdez landed numerous flush punches in the final minute of the fifth round, when Lopez had a hard time keeping his opponent from coming forward.

An assertive Valdez took control of their fight in the opening round, when he began landing hard punches to Lopez’s body and head.

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