Lopez was too strong for Flores. It was like watching a man beat up a boy.
Rising Gabriel Flores Jr. came into his fight with little known Luis Alberto Lopez undefeated. His team was talking title shot. Flores is a young and talented boxer, with fast hands and feet, but there were flaws, notably his inability to get away from right hands.
Through 20 professional fights, no fighter had been able to exploit his issues.
That all changed Friday night at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, AZ.
Lopez gave Flores a country whooping – winning their fight by a wide 10 round decision.
Scores were 98-92 and 100-90 twice.
In round one, the fleet-footed Flores moved to his left and jabbed. The much shorter Lopez (23-2, 12 KOs) nailed him with a solid right. One could call that right-hand foreshadowing for things to come. Flores connected with a left hook. Lopez stayed low and landed a heavy overhand right that seemed to bother Flores.
Lopez started round two well. Flores flurried back but ate a combination in return. Lopez worked over Flores on the inside.
Lopez,28, caught Flores with another right in round three. Flores (20-1, 7 KOs) clipped Lopez with a hook. His jab was on point, but Lopez rushed in and connected again and again. Flores opened round four by letting his hands go. The problem was that none of the punches bothered Lopez. Flores was showing a solid chin but little else. Lopez appeared to have no respect for Flores (lack of) punching power.
The face of Flores was bruised and bloodied. Lopez connected with an uppercut in round six. Seconds later, a three-punch combination landed. Flores landed a counter left hook. He went to the body. Flores was moving, but his punches lacked snap. Another right-hand rocked Flores.
In round eight, Lopez continued to show Flores no respect. A big uppercut connected. Flores moved but appeared to be in survival mode. Lopez landed a shot to the chin. Flores, bruised and battered, tried to make something happen in round nine. He landed a few jabs, but all he had was guts.
Lopez, with his hands at his side, made faces at Flores. Lopez landed a wicked body shot. Seconds later, a combination wobbled Flores. He staggered to his corner, where his father told him he needed to stop the fight. Flores Jr. shook his head and stood up. Flores Sr. let the bout continue.
Lopez landed more wicked shots in the 10th and last round. Flores hung in, but in this writer’s opinion, the fight should have been over after round nine. Why take more punishment?
“I was expecting the fight to be stopped,” said Lopez. “I was looking at the referee or even at his dad. I was looking at him, and he didn’t want to keep going, but I couldn’t stop fighting. I just kept going, and they didn’t stop the fight.”
“I give a lot of respect to this man,” said Flores. “He’s a 126-pounder, and he fought me at 130. I was talking all that shit and I meant it. And I knew what I was saying was true. I just couldn’t pull it off tonight. For me, this ain’t the end.”
It might not be the end, but reality can be painful.
Keep that left up.