Luis Alberto Lopez Fends Off Gonzalez & Zayas Impresses with KO
Showing his class and guile, Luis Alberto “El Venado” Lopez (29-2, 16 KOs) successfully defended the IBF featherweight title with a unanimous decision victory (118-110, 117-111, 116-112) over Joet Gonzalez (26-4, 15 KOs) at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The defending champion used his footwork to create angles for uppercuts and hooks to the head and body of Gonzalez during the first half of the contest. Gonzalez pressed the action but had difficulty connecting with solid shots on a consistent basis.
Fighting with renewed vigor over the second half of the contest, Gonzalez found a home for right hands and left hooks to the chin of Lopez. El Venado let the foot off the gas during the championship rounds. But from the scores from the judges, it was clear that Lopez felt he had done enough to secure the win.
In this reporter’s opinion, the correct man won, but the bout was closer than the official scorecards. After having his hand raised in victory, Lopez said he would love a unification fight with reigning WBO featherweight champion Robeisy Ramirez.
XANDER ZAYAS PUMMELS ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ JR.
At the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, rising junior middleweight contender Xander Zayas (17-0, 11 KOs) put on a show en route to a fifth-round stoppage over a very tough and game Roberto Rodriguez Jr. (21-5, 20 KOs).
Zayas was focused from the opening bell. A power jab put Rodriguez Jr. on the seat of his pants with barely a minute gone into the opening round. From that moment, it was all Zayas.
Rodriguez Jr. tried to apply pressure to unsettle his opponent. But Zayas was cool as a cucumber. He scored repeatedly with the jab and countered with right hands to the head and hooks to the body. By the end of round three, Rodriguez was bleeding heavily from a severe cut on the bridge of his nose.
Zayas continued to dish out the punishment in round four. In the opening moments of round five, as Rodriguez Jr. was oozing blood, the ringside doctor waved the fight over. This was arguably the most impressive performance from Zayas to date.
JAMAINE ORTIZ EARNS DECISION OVER ANTONIO MORAN
Jamaine Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs) overcame his share of adversity to pound out a unanimous decision (99-91, 98-92, 97-93) over Antonio Moran (29-6-1, 20 KOs) in a ten-round junior welterweight contest at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Fighting for the first time in eleven months, Ortiz was a bit rusty in the early rounds. In the last minute of round three, he got wobbled by a Moran left hook.
At the halfway mark of round six, Ortiz went into retreat mode after getting hit by a left hook to the body. But by the end of the round, he had recovered and hurt Moran with a right hand.
From round seven until the final bell, Ortiz found his groove. He took control of the fight, peppering Moran with speedy combinations to the head and body in what turned out to be an entertaining scrap.