Based purely on won-loss record, one wouldn’t think a title shot would be within the grasp of David Lopez. The middleweight owns a bloated number, 12, in his loss column, but that shouldn’t disqualify him from getting a title crack in the near future. Lopez hasn’t lost since 2005, and in every way, he’s a pros pro. He showed that at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Arizona on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, against Ossie Duran, as he used his reach, footwork, work rate and ring generalship to motor to a unanimous decision victory. The scores were 97-93, 96-94, 96-94, and Lopez boasted a 164-739 to 148-562 punchstat margin.
Lopez (age 31; 154 ½; from Mexico; winner of 13 straight bouts) came in with a 37-12 mark, with 25 stops, while Duran (age 31; 154 ½; born in Ghana, fighting out of NJ) entered with a 23-6-2 record, with 9 KOs.
In the first, the taller Lopez, coming down from middleweight, pumped the jab. A lefty, he sized up Duran and started using his right in the last third of the round. Duran often paws with the jab, but sometimes quickens it when throwing the one-two. Not often enough, though. Lopez maintains distance so well.
Duran didn’t seem to pick a strategy to give himself the best chance of winning. He did perk up at various times, but too often didn’t press an advantage when he did land a stiff shot. Atlas pointed out, correctly, that Duran too often put on the earmuffs. He perked up in the ninth, as he realized he would be down on the card of even the dimmest judge.
Chop Chop Corley (33-11-1) fought in a junior welter scrap against Hector Sanchez (17-1). CC, who we saw right away doesn’t look shot or flabby, was cut in the second on his right cheek, but it didn’t look threatening. CC sent Sanchez down in the third, after missing with a right uppercut, with a right hook. Could CC finish? CC ran at Sanchez, literally, but the wounded man got his legs back. The taller Sanchez didn’t do a great job at keeping the lefty CC at bay, at the end of his jab. The judges spoke after eight rounds, with CC enjoying a stat edge (88-415 to 82-337: they had 77-74, 77-74, 77-74, all for Sanchez. Atlas had CC up by 1, and partner Brian Kenny thought Chop Chop did enough to win. The crowd didn’t love the call, either.
Philly’s Karl Dargan, trained by Naazim Richardson, downed Rudy Valdez in the TV opener in a lightweight scrap. He finished him in the fourth round, via TKO, and Oscar De La Hoya, in the audience, nodded in approval.
Teddy Atlas picked Paul Williams to best Winky Wright later today in Vegas. Williams’ reach and work rate and Winky’s rust should spell a win for LTP, Atlas said. Regarding Chris Arreola, who will battle Jameel McCline on that undercard, Atlas said—no surprise---that Arreola should trim down. Early on, McCline might hit home with some shots, but Arreola should be able to wear down McCline late, and get the most significant W of his career.
Studio host Robert Flores chatted with Timothy Bradley on the phone. He said he’d like to take on the Pacquiao-Hatton winer, or JM Marquez of Money Mayweather. I don’t see any of those bouts happening.
Oscar De La Hoya chatted with Kenny and Atlas during the main event. He said he’s had a hard time coming to grips with his future. “My wife supports the decision I’ve made,” he said when asked if she wanted him to retire or was cool with him fighting on. He didn’t tip his hand regarding his big announcement next week. Or did he? He said he’s been in the gym recently…but that was for a charity gig, as he let some kids pummel him. He did say he went to the boxing gym to stay fit, and said he weighs about 156 to 157. You think he’s coming back? I say if not right now, then at some point he will…
He said he took it into consideration that he dropped too much weight, after going down to 141 a month before the Pacquiao bout. “I was jumping back and forth, so now I understand why fighters do not retire, and they stay in this sport too long,” he said. Atlas put him on the spot, and Oscar said to ask his wife. “You got a phone number?” Atlas said. He looks fit in the face, but that doesn’t send me a hint either way. He’s a smart manipulator of public sentiment, a sharp promoter, and he knows that if he was bloating up prior to his announcement, and he was planning on waving adios as an active hitter, then we’d all say we told you so. Kenny and Atlas both think Oscar will be saying goodbye next week. I say he’s announcing a rematch with Mayweather.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV