Andres Gutierrez blows weigh-in for Oscar Valdez fight by 11 pounds
Oscar Valdez will still make his debut at 130 pounds Saturday night, but against a new opponent.
Valdez will square off late-replacement Adam Lopez in a 10-round bout inside the Chelsea Ballroom at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The fight, along with the Carl Frampton-Tyler McCreary junior lightweight bout, will stream live on ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).
Valdez was originally scheduled to fight Andres Gutierrez, but the fighter from Guadalajara, Mexico weighed in at 141 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in. Valdez made weight at 129.8 pounds.
The Valdez-Gutierrez fight was immediately cancelled, and with the fight card taking place a day later, finding an opponent looked very bleak, especially with the card falling on a Thanksgiving Day weekend. Lopez, who was scheduled to face Luis Coria in preliminary action in a featherweight bout, immediately took the fight when approached by Top Rank officials.
“I trained hard for three months making the sacrifices, and I am very upset with Andres Gutierrez,” said Valdez after the weigh-in. “He was unprofessional. As soon as I heard 141 pounds, I still wanted to fight him, but my team and (promoter) Bob Arum said Gutierrez was out. I give credit to Adam Lopez for stepping up. It will be a great fight tomorrow night.”
This is not the first time Valdez has dealt with an opponent who missed weight. Scott Quigg challenged Valdez for the WBO world featherweight title on Mar. 10 of last year, but came in almost three pounds over the 126-pound limit. Valdez chose to go on with the fight, but suffered a broken jaw during the fight and had to sit out several weeks to recuperate from the brutal fight with Quigg.
Saturday night also marks Valdez’s third fight with Eddy Reynoso, who also trains Canelo Alvarez. The 28-year-old Valdez, who is originally from Nogales, Mexico and now resides in the Los Angeles suburb of West Covina, noted it was difficult for him to make weight at 126 pounds, but believes the move up to the junior lightweight division is the correct one.
“Making weight won’t be as difficult for me at 130 pounds,” said Valdez, who is managed by Frank Espinoza. “It won’t be easy, but not as hard as it was when I was fighting at 126 (pounds). I have more energy in the gym and I feel healthy, which is the most important thing.”
“I’ve been fighting at 126 my whole career, so it’s a long time coming. My last camps were more about cutting weight rather than training. It wasn’t healthy for me. I wasn’t eating much two, three days before the weigh-ins, so now I am in a much healthier position.”
Lopez (13-1, 6 KOs) will be taking a significant step-up in opposition. The 23-year-old from the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale last fought on May 25, stopping former prospect Jean Carlos Rivera of Puerto Rico in a fight he was down on the scorecards.
He does have boxing in his veins as he is the son of former world junior welterweight title challenger Hector Lopez.
“It was surreal when I got the offer to fight Oscar,” said Lopez, who has won his last five bouts since suffering his only loss at the hands of unbeaten junior featherweight Stephon Fulton. “I’ve known Oscar for a long time and I’ve wanted this fight for a long time. I’m ready for it.”
“Deep down, I’ll take anyone. Ultimately, I left it up to my trainer (Buddy McGirt), and he gave the fight his blessing.”
Preliminary action for the Top Rank card will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET/ 3:30 p.m. PT.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing