IBF Featherweight champ Luis Alberto Lopez made the second successful defense of his crown with an easy decision win over veteran Joet Gonzalez Saturday night in Corpus Christi, TX.
The bout headlined the Top Rank Boxing/ESPN show and saw the Mexican titleholder win on scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112.
THE ROAD WARRIOR LIVES ON 🏆
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) September 16, 2023
Lopez, who won his title impressively by decision over England’s Josh Warrington in Warrington’s hometown last year, came off a tremendous KO of Ireland’s Michael Conlan in his first defense in May.
The 30 year old champ, now 29-2, 16 KOs, scored effectively to the body early and continued to land off his jab throughout the back half of the fight. The veteran Gonzalez, now 26-4 and who previously lost title bids to Shakur Steven and Emanuel Navarrete, was tough enough to last the distance, but never really threatened the champ.
“We knew that Joet Gonzalez is a very dangerous fighter. He never stops attacking. He can take anything you throw at him. We knew that’s what he came to do and that he came with a lot of hunger to take the title away from me, but I also am very hungry to remain champion.
“I hurt him. I saw that I hurt him. But, as I’ve said, he’s a warrior who can take anything you throw at him, even the bucket. He is still standing, and my respects to him.”
On the official cards, Lopez won seven of the first eight rounds on all of them and built what turned out to be an insurmountable lead.
In the co-feature bout, unbeaten Puerto Rican junior middleweight star Xander Zayas improved to 17-0, 11 KOs, with an impressive fifth round TKO over a bloodied opponent, Roberto Valenzuela, Jr. The talented Zayas dropped Valenzuela twice in the first round and eventually, opened a nasty gash across Valenzuela’s nose that bled profusely in the fourth and the fifth rounds. Referee Mark Nelson had seen enough bleeding with the 21 year old Zayas scoring with both hands and heavy shots and stopped the bout less than :45 into the fifth.
Opening the main card of the Top Rank show, lightweight Emiliano Vargas, son of former 154 lb. world champ Fernando Vargas, scored an impressive third round TKO of Alejandro Guardado to improve to 7-0 with 6 KOs. The 19 year old Vargas pummeled Guardado with a barrage of punches in the third round prior to the referee stopping the bout.