Former welterweight contender Josesito Lopez wanted to make a statement tonight, and in some ways he did, winning a pretty easy decision over club fighter Saul Corral in the main event of PBC on FS1 from Los Angeles.
But Lopez (35-7, 19 KO) just didn’t look like he was ready to get in with notable welterweights, which he’s stated is the plan, and rightly so at 32 — if you’re not fighting big fights at this stage, what are you doing, after all. He looked soft and a little feeble at times, even, and definitely older than his age, after some hard years in the ring.
Corral (23-9, 14 KO) was no match for even a faded version of Lopez, but that was to be expected. He went down early in the 10th round, but was able to survive the rest of the way. BLH had it 100-89 for Lopez, and official scores were 100-89 across the board, as well.
Lightweight prospect Alejandro Luna stayed undefeated, improving to 22-0 (15 KO) with a 10-round decision win over veteran Andrey Klimov. Scores were 97-93, 98-92, and 98-92. BLH had it 98-92 for Luna, but it was not necessarily an uncompetitive fight after the first couple of rounds, which Luna dominated.
Klimov (19-4, 9 KO) seemed to pick it up after suffering a small cut, and was fighting on more even terms with Luna in the middle rounds especially. There remains some question about the ceiling for Luna, 25, after this win, but it’s a solid step forward for him against a tough opponent.
2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas made his pro debut with an easy win over Thomas Smith in a super featherweight bout, stopping Smith after a single round of one-way action.
Balderas (1-0, 1 KO) dominated that opening frame, landing his shots at will once he started throwing punches, and Smith (3-5-1, 2 KO) simply decided not to come out for round two. Balderas is signed with Richard Schaefer and will have a lot of opportunities going forward, so long as he performs, with Schaefer clearly working closely with PBC.