Oscar Valdez and Adam Lopez will meet in a 130-pound rematch on May 20 in Las Vegas, a source told ESPN on Friday.
The bout will serve as chief support for the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko fight for the undisputed lightweight championship on ESPN+ PPV, per source.
Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) defeated Lopez (16-4, 6 KOs) via seventh-round stoppage in November 2019, but the fight was far tougher than accepted. Lopez, a major underdog, floored Valdez in Round 2 before the Mexican Olympian rallied for the TKO victory.
Valdez and Lopez were set to fight different opponents on that night, but after Valdez’s original opponent came in overweight, the matchup was pieced together for the following night.
“I was very surprised [by the knockdown],” Valdez said at the time. “I take my hat off to Adam Lopez. He’s a great fighter, great warrior, just like his father [Hector Lopez] was. I just got hit. This is boxing. I prepared myself for two, three months for [Adrian] Gutierrez. Got a new opponent, but that’s no excuse. This kid is a warrior.”
This time around, they’ll have ample time to prepare for one another in advance. Valdez was set to fight Emanuel Navarrete on Feb. 3 for the vacant WBO junior lightweight title but withdrew because of a rib injury.
Navarrete went on to win the title with a ninth-round TKO victory over Liam Wilson. If Valdez defeats Lopez again as expected, Navarrete will defend the title vs. Valdez later this year, per source.
But first, Valdez must contend with Lopez. Valdez, 32, lost his 130-pound title in April when Shakur Stevenson routed him. Prior to that, he defeated Robson Conceicao in September 2021 after Valdez tested positive for the banned substance phentermine.
Lopez, 26, owns only one win over the past two years, sandwiched by decision losses to Isaac Dogboe and, most recently, Abraham Nova in January. He was floored twice vs. Nova.
“I would love a rematch with Oscar; he’s a true fighter,” Lopez said in November 2019. “I’m not a 130-pounder, but I’m a real fighter as well, so I’ll take on anybody, anywhere.”