Abraham Lopez Retains NABA Title in Downtown L.A.

ABRAHAM LOPEZ RETAINS NABA TITLE – If looks can be deceiving, Abraham Lopez may be the most deceiving of all.

Once again the La Puente featherweight matched fighting wits with a tough customer and before more than 500 fans at Belasco Theater broke down Ensenada-born Sergio Lopez (20-12-1, 13 KOs) to win going away on Friday night.

Lopez never really pounds out opponents. He takes a studious approach to all foes with a little here and a little there before unloading slicing uppercuts and booming body blows. The featherweight was defending the NABA title on the Golden Boy Promotions card.

The Lopez from Mexico was no slouch. He’s been in the prize ring against Alejandro Luna, Toka Kahn Clary and Joet Gonzalez. Survival and counter seems to be one of his strengths. But against the La Puente featherweight, by the seventh round it was pure survival mode as bludgeoning blows to the body were making the Mexican fighter slip into retreat.

“I definitely thought that there were moments throughout the fight that he was going to go down, but it goes to show how tough he was,” said Abraham Lopez. “I definitely think that it was my night tonight.”

After 10 rounds, the judges scored the fight 100-90, 99-91 twice for Abraham Lopez.

In the co-main event, Colombia’s Oscar Negrete (15-0, 6 KOs) manhandled rugged Raul Hidalgo (25-15, 19 KOs) over four rounds before referee Jack Reiss stopped the destruction at 2:49 of the fourth round. Negrete was pinpoint like a laser and seldom fired a punch without connecting. Hidalgo tried to find an antidote but was unsuccessful. Negrete once again showed steady improvement in battering Hidalgo in their bantamweight fight.

“I remembered my training – to keep my distance, to place pressure, and to attack in a manner that would break him down slowly. That was what won this fight,” said Negrete.

In a featherweight clash Edgar Valerio (9-0, 5 KOs) was patient in breaking down the defense of Lupe De Leon (9-15) a solid veteran from southern Texas. A Valerio left hook knocked down De Leon in the third round but he was able to continue. In the sixth and final round, a left to the body and right to the chin sent De Leon down for good. The fight ended at 22 seconds of the sixth round. Valerio is managed by Joel De La Hoya and is based in Los Angeles.

“I was in the ring with a more experienced fighter, and yet I was able to get the win for being the smarter man,” said Valerio of Los Angeles.

Florida’s Niko Valdez (3-0, 3 KOs) scored another quick knockout in blitzing fellow Floridian Will Williams (0-3) in 46 seconds of the first round in their light heavyweight clash. A left to the side of the head finished Williams and gave Valdez a third knockout win in three fights.

Super featherweight Jousce Gonzalez (3-0, 3 KOs) used uppercuts and some vicious body shots to end the night for Jordan Alvarado (0-2) of Texas. The fight was stopped at 2:40 of the first round. Gonzalez is the younger brother of Joet Gonzalez.

Las Vegas featherweight Francisco Esparza (5-0, 2 KOs) needed only two rounds to figure out Gerardo Molina (1-3) of Mexico. After pounding the body in the first round, Esparza poured on the punches forcing a stoppage at 2:59 of the second round. Esparza is mentored by former boxing great Fernando “El Feroz” Vargas.

A battle between undefeated cruiserweights saw Philadelphia’s Todd Unthank-May (10-0, 4 KOs) knock out Mexico’s Daniel Najera (5-1) with a short left hook in the first round. Referee Jack Reiss counted to 10 at 2:16 of the round.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

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