Lopez jolted Maidana in round three with a short uppercut. Two follow-up rights also landed. Maidana backed Lopez into the ropes in round four and unloaded. Most of the punches landed. Lopez motioned to Maidnana to bring on.
A wicked combination knocked Maidana back a step.
Lopez,29, took advantage of a sluggish Maidana in round five. His quicker hands were paying dividends. Maidana was feeling his bodywork. A left-right combination staggered Maidana. Lopez kept his head and worked his jab. Another Lopez left hook hurt Maidana at the bell. Both fighters looked weary.
In round six, Maidana tried to time Lopez. His right hand landed, but he was paying a heavy price. Lopez continued to carve him up. Maidana, 30, refused to quit. He walked Lopez down and fired a overhand right that knocked him to his knees. The gallant warrior got up, but Maidana pounced. He cornered Lopez and unloaded punches from all angles. Lopez was hurt. He reeled sideways until the referee waved the fight off.
The time was 1:18 round six.
“Some of the punches weren’t that hard but one of those right hands hurt,” said Maidana in the ring after the fight.
“I thought the stoppage was premature,” said Lopez.
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