By: Sean Crose
The IBF featherweight title was on the line Friday night in Corpus Christy, Texas, as Luis Alberto Lopez defended his crown against popular vet Joet Gonzalez. The fight was a scheduled twelve rounder and was the main event of an ESPN/Top Rank card. The 26-3-0 Gonzalez started off the first flicking out his jab. The 28-2 Lopez, on the other hand switched his pace repeatedly, which was indicative of his awkward style. Gonzalez continued to apply pressure in the second, though the frequent flurries of Lopez didn’t go unnoticed. The third saw Lopez land hard while Gonzalez continued his attack. By the fourth, the fight had worked itself into a pattern, with each man having his moments. Gonzalez pressed. Lopez fought in an in and out style.
The bout remained a relatively high energy affair in the fifth. There were no standout moments to be found, but there were no boring moments, either. Lopez looked to be a bit sluggish in the sixth. Still, he was able to maintain his frustrating strategy in the seventh. Gonzalez deserved credit. By the eighth he was still pressing the fight, even though Lopez was clearly able to toss off combinations essentially at will. The ninth and tenth saw Lopez’ continue to put on a disciplined (albeit awkward) performance. Yet Gonzalez himself performed with laser like focus in the eleventh, clearly dominating the round. The twelfth and final round had both men looking fairly beaten up, yet determined to win. With that being said, it was Lopez who appeared to have edged it.
Ultimately, the judges ruled in favor of Lopez by a unanimous, yet wider than one might expect, decision.
*Image: Top Rank
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