FightPost Boxer of the Week: Luis Alberto Lopez
By Gary Kittilsen
Top Rank cards are dominating the boxing headlines and the attention of boxing fans.
However, their prospects are not. Yet another highly touted Top Rank prospect fell by the wayside.
Largely overlooked, fringe, contender Luis Alberto Lopez walked in a prohibitive underdog against Andy Vences, who was being prepped for a world title fight, and took Vences out to deep waters pressured him non stop and made him miss over and over again in scoring the upset victory via split decision.
Moving his record to 21-2 (11) earning himself another big money fight and capturing our Fighter of the Week award. Lopez, a native of Mexicali, Mexico, has been trouble for a number of young prospects. Taking a close technical decision over Ray Ximenez, losing a very close decision to Ruben Villa, and stopping unbeaten prospect Cristian Baez.
Lopez entered the MGM Grand no stranger to being the underdog and being viewed as just an opponent for a touted prospect.
Andy Vences, one of the Top Ranks prized young possessions, offered up nothing new to Lopez. The two exchanged in heated combinations from the opening bell on. In what was likely the most entertaining and competitive scrap in Top Ranks summer series.
The early rounds were competitive and close. Vences was just slightly getting the better of it. Using his jab any movement to stifle his rugged opponent. Heading into the sixth with Vences building a lead on the scorecards he picked up the pace and tried to become the aggressor.
That’s when the Mexicali native got going and badly hurt Top Rank’s prized prospect with a right hand and left hook combination that sent him backward. Lopez then scored on a big body shot that froze Vences in his tracks. Lopez poured on the power shots and was gunning for a stoppage throughout the remainder of the sixth and seventh rounds.
Trying to reestablish his jab and control of the fight, Vences settled back in during the eighth. However, the game Mexican stayed on the attack and eeked out just enough of the late rounds to nab a very close but deserved split decision victory by scores of 96-94 twice with the third judge favoring Vences by the same score.
Lopez was viewed as just a tough opponent that should offer some resistance to highly rated prospects but ultimately lose. He has proven time and again to be more than that, much more than that. He has pushed four touted prospects to the absolute brink and beat three of them including one by stoppage.
Lopez has earned himself a big money fight in the 130-pound division against a top 10 talent. So we can see exactly how good he really is. His physical strength, awkward style, and underrated boxing skills would allow him to be highly competitive against names like Jono Carrol who has challenged for a world title, or Andrew Cancio and Oscar Valdez who have held major world titles in the recent past.