Valdez stops Lopez, Frampton beats McCreary

The former WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez came into the night gearing to fight a different opponent that he was scheduled to fight as Andres Gutierrez weighed 11 pounds over the limit of 130 for Saturday’s bout. As a result, Valdez ended up facing Adam Lopez who was moving up in weight for this fight like the former world champion.

After giving a very good effort and catching Valdez with good counter-punches, he got caught with a left hook in the seventh to put him down to one knee and then a combination by Valdez forced referee Russell Mora to stop the bout with ten seconds left in the round for Valdez to get the TKO win and register his 27th victory of his pro career (27-0, 21 KOs). Lopez was disappointed with Mora’s decision as he felt that he was able to continue. However, the official result gives him the second loss of his career (13-2, 6 KOs).

The fight was predicted by many to be a showcase for Valdez who was looking to impress people and be on his way to a fight with WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt. However, Valdez had some issues dealing with the timing of his opponent as Lopez was able to see many of his punches and able to counter him. Early in the bout, Lopez was able to clip Valdez and put him down to the canvas.

Lopez scores the early knockdown on Valdez. Photo by Mikey Williams

Valdez got up from that knockdown, but had to deal with a good performance from Lopez as he was using spacing well to avoid a good amount of Valdez’s punches. Over the course of the next few rounds, Lopez was gaining confidence as it seemed like he figured out the pace of Valdez and did a little showboating after landing with a counter shot. It seemed like was building a lead until the seventh round where he was shaken with that left hook before the end of that round. Even though he was throwing punches back at Valdez, the combination that was thrown by the former featherweight titlist forced Mora to step in.

Valdez gave credence to his opponent for his toughness. “I was very surprised. I take my hat off to Adam Lopez. He’s a great fighter, great warrior, just like his father {the late Hector Lopez} was,” Valdez said. “I just got hit. This is boxing. I prepared myself for two, three months for Gutierrez, but that’s no excuse. This kid is a warrior.”

Valdez throws a right to Lopez in the fight. Photo by Mikey Williams

He will move on to fight WBC super featherweight champ Miguel Berchelt next year, and Valdez knows it will be a tough fight. “That’s the one I want to fight. He has that WBC belt, and he’s trying to take it back home.”

In the co-feature, former two-division champion Carl Frampton (27-2, 15 KOs) scored a unanimous decision victory with three scores of 100-88 over Tyler McCreary (16-1-1) to put himself in position to fight for a world title in the super featherweight division. Frampton got back in the winning column after losing to IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington last year.

Frampton was able to use his ring savvy to get the better of his opponent, as he was able to score knockdowns in the sixth and the ninth rounds. McCreary was not able to make any adjustments over the course of the fight to get any advantage on the former champion.

Frampton connects with a body shot to McCreary. Photo by Mikey Williams of Top Rank

After the fight, Frampton was glad about his approach to get at McCreary. “I was happy. That was the plan, to target the body,” Frampton said. “Tyler is pretty tall. We’ve seen that he’s left gaps.”

Frampton was dealing with hand issues this year, but he was not going to allow that to stop him from fighting. “My hand wasn’t great coming into the camp. I feel like I hurt it again in the second round, so that’s why it wasn’t the most exciting fight in the world, but I just cruised to a points win. I just wanted to be safe with my hands.”

With this win, it places Frampton in line for a potential world title shot. While the WBC champion Miguel Berchelt was in attendance to see who the Valdez-Lopez winner would be, WBO champion Jamel Herring was also in attendance and is open to fighting Frampton in the near future. Herring doesn’t care where it is, he just wants the fight.

Herring and Frampton with Bob Arum after Frampton’s victory over McCreary. A fight between Herring and Frampton is likely to happen in 2020. Photo by Mikey Williams

“Wherever, whenever, I want to fight Carl Frampton. We’re under the same promotional umbrella, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”


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