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Highlights: Luis Alberto Lopez wins decision over Joet Gonzalez to retain IBF title

Luis Alberto Lopez still has the IBF featherweight title after beating Joet Gonzalez.

Luis Alberto Lopez still has the IBF featherweight title after beating Joet Gonzalez
Luis Alberto Lopez still has the IBF featherweight title after beating Joet Gonzalez
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Luis Alberto Lopez retained his IBF featherweight title, beating Joet Gonzalez by unanimous decision in an ESPN main event from Corpus Christi, Tex., this evening.

Lopez won the fight on scores of 116-112, 117-111, and 118-110. Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the fight 116-112 for Lopez, while ESPN’s Mark Kriegel had Gonzalez winning 115-113 on his unofficial card, for what it’s worth.

The win is the second successful title defense for Lopez (29-2, 16 KO), and drops Gonzalez (26-4, 15 KO) to 0-3 in world title fights, receiving one per year for the last three years.

The most pro-Gonzalez way to look at the fight is that Lopez really seemed to open up a good early lead in the first half of the fight, and then Gonzalez did make a charge in the late rounds. If you shaded a round or two to Gonzalez, you might have been able to see it 7-5 his way.

The judges just didn’t see it that way, though, giving Lopez eight, nine, and 10 of the 12 rounds on their cards.

CompuBox saw Lopez land 195 of 881 (22.1%) of his total punches, including 123 of 524 (23.5%) of his power shots, where he had a big edge over Gonzalez, who landed 75 of 319 (23.5%) power punches and 146 of 670 (21.8%) overall.

Xander Zayas TKO-5 Roberto Valenzuela Jr (0:42)

Zayas dropped Valenzuela twice in the first round, one a really well-timed shot and the other maybe was a shove, really, but this was all Zayas either way, he was just way too good for Valenzuela.

But give Valenzuela (21-5, 20 KO) his respect, too, because this dude refused to quit on the fight, even when his nose was clearly broken, plus a nasty cut on the bridge, and blood just flying everywhere from his face. Referee Mark Nelson stopped the fight when he felt it was just too much, and I think it was the right call, but no, Valenzuela did not want to quit.

Zayas (17-0, 11 KO) says he’s ready to step up to top level now.

“I’m a contender now at 154 lbs,” Zayas said. “Whenever Top Rank gives me the opportunity (for a title shot), I’ll be ready to take it. I’m ready. I’m finally out the cage.”

He may be truly ready, but it should be said that real top level at 154 is miles from the opposition he’s fought so far.

Emiliano Vargas TKO-3 Alejandro Guardado (1:07)

Vargas is now 7-0 (6 KO), and this was his first win over an opponent with a winning record. That winning record is now 5-1 (1 KO), and Guardado is 29 years old and was ranked No. 382 in the world by Boxrec, and for some reason Top Rank flew a guy over from Spain with that as his resume, instead of just finding someone on this continent that didn’t have to come from Europe for this level of fight, but first win over a winning record all the same.

They’re insisting that Vargas, 19, is very concerned about winning “Prospect of the Year,” by which I assume they mean the ESPN.com award that I’m not sure you even get a sheet of paper to recognize. But you can figure on Vargas returning in November, because he didn’t have to break a sweat here and he’s stayed very active.

More results

  • Julio Luna UD-8 Omar Aguilar (77-75, 78-74, 79-73)
  • Jamaine Ortiz UD-10 Antonio Moran
  • Ruben Villa UD-8 Brandon Valdes (78-74, 78-74, 78-74)
  • Tiger Johnson MD-8 Ricardo Quiroz (76-76, 79-73, 79-73)

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