Though it wasn't as rousing or spectacular as Yuriorkis Gamboa's two-round blitzing of Roger Mtagwa in the co-feature, Juan Manuel Lopez dominated and knocked out Steven Luevano in seven rounds, winning the WBO featherweight title in his first fight at 126 pounds.
Lopez (28-0, 25 KO) looked a bit sluggish early, and overly tentative, but by the fourth round or so, it was clear he was in firm control of the fight. Luevano (37-2-1, 15 KO) never did establish any rhythm or consistency in the fight, and really never troubled Lopez.
It was Luevano's sixth defense of the title he won in 2007. It was also his first loss inside the distance. The stoppage came just 44 seconds into the seventh round.
Lopez is now on track to fight Gamboa this summer if all stays according to plan. That fight will generate a lot of interest for both men, as they're two of the best young fighters in the sport today. Lopez may have lost some hype momentum while Gamboa has gained even more, but it's still a tremendously intriguing fight. Those guys can punch, and styles make fights.
We'll have more tomorrow. Thank you for joining us tonight for the first big card of 2010, and rest assured, we're just getting started for this year.