Luis Alberto Lopez took the IBF featherweight title from Josh Warrington, shocking the crowd in Leeds, England, when the majority decision scores were read in his favor.
Lopez won the fight on tallies of 114-114, 115-113, and 115-113. Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the fight 114-114, with Warrington rallying down the stretch to even it up, but the scores here were fair, all three of them.
Lopez (27-2, 15 KO) came in a very slight underdog, perhaps mostly because he was on the road in Warrington’s (31-2-1, 8 KO) hometown. But Lopez had a really good first two-thirds of this fight especially, and in the end, the Warrington charge late just was not enough to retain the belt.
It was not a pretty fight by any stretch of the imagination, with both fighters’ heads coming into play — it’s regular for both of them, though it’s very normal for Warrington — some holding late from Lopez, and just a lot of scrappy battling because of their very different, sometimes awkward attacks. But if you like a gritty, scrappy battle, this was one for you.
“It’s been a long period of preparation. As I said in the build-up, this is my moment, it comes from hard work over a long boxing career,” Lopez said via an interpreter.
Lopez was openly critical of both Warrington and referee Bob Williams, too.
“I had to respect him, coming into his city in front of his people. I knew he was a dirty fighter, but he still surprised me,” he said. “He was hitting me to the legs, to the glutes, and the referee I didn’t feel did his job tonight. I’m very surprised. You have to look after boxers to make sure they don’t suffer any injuries. It’s a dangerous sport.”
“It’s a 12-round fight. I started off slow, I understand that. But after four or five, I did a lot of work inside,” Warrington said.
As for Lopez’s criticisms, Warrington added, “The stigma that I’m a dirty fighter — an accidental clash of heads, he was coming at me forward with his head down,” and said that Lopez “made a right meal” — over-acted, basically — out of some errant shots.
“I’m absolutely devastated to lose my title like that,” he continued. “I’ve wanted to go to the States and we’re still waiting to to do that. I still think we can have a big fight against one of the champions. Obviously I’d like a rematch, as well. Yeah, it was close, but I thought I won.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn called it “a fight of two halves,” and didn’t have any problem with the scores. He said he still sees a trip to America or a possible fight with Leigh Wood in the future for Warrington, believing Warrington is still fighting at a high level.
Warrington vs Lopez highlights
Ebanie Bridges TKO-8 Shannon O’Connell
There’s yet to be a boring Ebanie Bridges fight that I’ve seen. O’Connell started well here, but after the second round, Bridges really took over, dropping “Shotgun” Shannon in the third and just wearing her out over the rest of the fight.
Referee Howard Foster stepped in to stop this late in the eighth, and while O’Connell (23-7-1, 11 KO) obviously didn’t want to be stopped there, Foster made a totally reasonable call, as O’Connell’s head was rocking around from repeated clean shots.
Bridges (9-1, 4 KO) again puts on a hell of a fight, and yet again has owned every opponent’s boring criticism of her in the lead-up to a bout. If you haven’t taken her seriously yet, that’s on you; she’s an absolute blast to watch, a warrior in the ring, and has retained her IBF bantamweight title.
Bridges also wasn’t completely ready to bury the hatchet, but happy to get the win, of course.
“Not bad for a skanky stripper, I must say,” Bridges said, responding to O’Connell’s build-up taunts. “I want hard fights. I don’t want easy fights. She came to fight, she was hungry, she was fierce, but I’m just better and that’s why I’m the world champ.
“It was a real ‘how do you like them apples?’ moment. I’m not usually disrespectful to my opponents, but she’s been so disrespectful to me, I can’t really give her that much respect. She can hit, she can bang. It was a tough fight.”
Undercard results and highlights
- Felix Cash PTS-8 Celso Neves: Not a good showing for Cash (16-0, 11 KO), who won on a referee’s score of 77-75. This was a second straight pretty lengthy absence for Cash, and a second straight fight where he looked slow, sluggish, and nothing like that guy who ran through the British middleweight scene. He admitted before the Magomed Madiev fight early this year that he’d gotten out of shape between fights, and he admitted here he felt flat. He also looked flat. The spin will be that he’s shaken the rust, got some rounds, etc. He did have a little confrontation post-fight with Austin “Ammo” Williams, who is expected to be his next opponent in the spring. If the “real” Felix Cash shows up, that’s a terrific matchup. If the one we’ve seen twice this year shows up, it might be bad news for Cash.
- JJ Metcalf RTD-10 Courtney Pennington
- Koby McNamara PTS-4 Nabil Ahmed
- Shannon Courtenay PTS-8 Gemma Ruegg
- Cory O’Regan TKO-6 Antonio Rodriguez
- Hopey Price PTS-8 Jonathan Santana
- Junaid Boston KO-6 Athansios Glynos
- Rhiannon Dixon PTS-8 Kristine Shergold