TOP RANK/ESPN FNF: LOPEZ DEFENDS TITLE AGAINST GONZALEZ

April 16, 2024

By: Lydia Smith
(Punchline Lead Writer)

Punchline was on hand Friday night in Corpus Christi, TX’s American Bank Center as IBF Featherweight Champion and Mexicali, Mexico native Luis Alberto Lopez won a unanimous decision over Joet Gonzalez on Mexican Independence Day

In his third attempt to capture a World Title, Glendora, CA’s Gonzalez started the fight on the offensive throwing classic combinations, leading with the jab, and maximizing his reach advantage while Champion Lopez kept his distance and sprang from low squats trying to find openings in Gonzalez’s high guard. In round two, Lopez began to use his unorthodox rhythm to land popup uppercuts and body shots thrown from limp hands by his sides. In round three, Gonzalez found easy openings to land seemingly hard right crosses which Lopez caught in near 180° head rolls.

In rounds three and four, Lopez began to flash different parts of his body in front of his gloves: jutting his forehead and chin out while dangling his hands at his sides, sticking his left shoulder out in front of his feet, squatting lower than Gonzalez’s belt line with his gloves out of sight. Gonzalez would go in with classic combinations that Lopez would immediately respond with springing uppercuts, wide hooks, punching and landing from asymmetrical angles to Lopez’s direction of movement. In round five, Gonzalez was the aggressor finding repeated openings for his right cross, lowering his high guard to throw leading crosses and body shots that caught Lopez.

In round six, Gonzalez kept the pressure up landing power punches, continuing to mix up his leading punches from the jab. Towards the end of round six, Lopez bowed down and came back up, Gonzalez threw a jab and Lopez immediately threw a counter left hook that shook Gonzalez back a few steps. Lopez started round seven tighter, focusing up-top on Gonzalez. Gonzalez continued to take advantage of Lopez’s dangling left arm landing powerful rights. In round eight, Lopez accelerated his pace seeming to look for openings.

Gonzalez pressed even harder in round nine, taking advantage of his reach advantage and Lopez’s low left hand to land straight rights of his own . Lopez seemed to slow down in round 10, getting hit with Gonzalez’s relentless momentum, while throwing to the body. Gonzalez was once again the aggressor in round 11, landing a power left hook that abruptly backed up Lopez. Lopez quickened his pace in round 12, looping around Gonzalez to land unseen punches from Gonzalez’s blind spots.

In the end, Judges scored 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 for Lopez. Punchline scored the fight 115-113 for Lopez which was in line with most ringside media who saw a much closer fight. Champion Lopez improves to 29-2 (16) while the game but hard luck Gonzalez is now 26-4 (15).


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