Oscar Valdez did what he needed to do tonight to set up a potential fight with Emanuel Navarrete, getting a clear decision win over Adam Lopez on the Haney vs Lomachenko undercard.
Valdez won the fight on scores of 97-93, 98-92, and 98-91. Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the bout 99-91 and 99-90 on two separate cards.
It’s the second time that Valdez has beaten Lopez (16-5, 6 KO), and the second time he had to work hard to do it, as Lopez made his opponent earn the rounds all night. Lopez was notably hurt in the 10th and final round, but Valdez didn’t get a finish, not for lack of trying.
“I was just trying to be a better fighter,” Valdez said of his performance after a long layoff. “With a fighter like Adam Lopez, with that speed, we can’t get too confident. I was just trying to be a better and smarter fighter.”
Valdez (31-1, 23 KO) was meant to fight Navarrete in February for the vacant WBO title at 130 lbs, but had to pull out due to injury. Navarrete took that belt against Liam Wilson instead, and the two seemed to agree that they would still fight later this year, and tonight, Valdez did confirm that his sights are, as expected, set on the Navarrete fight.
“We all want ‘Vaquero,’ man. Nothing but respect for ‘Vaquero,’ he’s a great champion,” he said.
Raymond Muratalla TKO-2 Jeremia Nakathila
The stoppage from referee Robert Hoyle looked maybe a bit early in real time, but looking at the replay, it was a good stoppage. Nakathila wasn’t throwing back and wasn’t really defending himself, two things you need to do — at least one of them — if you don’t want a ref to step in after you got rocked and the other guy is unloading.
“I’m just ready for anybody now. I think I sent a big message,” Muratalla said. “Nobody has ever stopped Nakathila, I just stopped him in the second round. I think it’s a huge statement.”
Muratalla, 26, called out the winner of the Haney vs Lomachenko main event, which would be an enormous step up, but you gotta love the ambition and desire.