A win is a win, but Josesito Lopez knew that last night's technical decision victory over Mike Arnaoutis wasn't the type of victory that fans were looking to see as the popular "Riverside Rocky" returned with what was supposed to be a get-well fight, and turned into something much more significant.
Lopez (31-6, 18 KO) scored his first win since he broke Victor Ortiz's jaw in June 2012, but he had to come off of the canvas to do so, and he never seemed to find any rhythm against Arnaoutis (24-10-2, 11 KO), a veteran fighter long since relegated to the role of professional opponent and prospect-checker, a role in which he has scored no upset wins and has really only been competitive against Tim Coleman, which came back in 2009.
In the eighth round, an accidental headbutt opened up a nasty wound over Arnaoutis' left eye, which stopped the fight, as Arnaoutis seemed content to take his chances with the judges against a home-state fighter, on a showcase event for that home-state fighter. Unsurprisingly, the judges had it going Lopez's way on scores of 77-74, 77-74, and 76-75.
Arnaoutis said after the bout that he wants a rematch, but unless Lopez finds himself with zero lucrative fights, he won't likely get one any time soon. As for Josesito, all he and his supporters can do is hope this was a hiccup, but at 29 and with some seriously tough fights behind him, it could just be that he's a little worn out at a young age. It's happened before.
28-year-old prospect Francisco Vargas cruised to an easy 100-89 x3 win over Jerry Belmontes in the main co-feature. Vargas improves to 18-0-1 (13 KO), while Belmontes falls to 18-3 (5 KO).
Junior middleweight Jermall Charlo went to 17-0 (13 KO) with a totally one-sided rout and stoppage of Joseph De Los Santos (17-12-3, 9 KO). In similar bouts, Joseph Diaz Jr (8-0, 6 KO) smashed an outclassed but game Carlos Rodriguez (18-13-4, 10 KO), and Errol Spence Jr (10-0, 8 KO) embarrassed an out of shape Pipino Cuevas Jr (17-11, 15 KO), who may have the most fraudulent KO ratio in all of boxing, with an RTD-1 win. Spence hammered Cuevas to his soft body until Cuevas hit the canvas after referee Pat Russell told Cuevas, "Show me something!" As he considered and tried to get up, Cuevas looked like he was going to have an accident in his drawers. He got up, the round ended, and then the fight was stopped when Cuevas' corner told Russell that their fighter was "about to throw up."