There’s world title action at the top of a Top Rank promoted bill at the American Bank Center this Friday in Texas, as Luis Alberto Lopez defends his IBF featherweight title for the second time, with former two-time world title challenger Joet Gonzalez his opponent.
Sky Sports televise Lopez vs Gonzalez live in the UK, with ESPN+ broadcasting the card in the USA.
Mexico’s Lopez (28-2, 16 KOs) is unbeaten since 2019, and burst the unbeaten record of Gabriel Flores Jr in September 2021, before ruining Isaac Lowe’s world title shot hopes with a ruthless seventh round knockout win in London three months later.
2022 saw the 30-year-old Mexican bide his time for a world title shot, and when it came he grabbed the IBF crown with both hands in December, taking a deserved majority decision win in Josh Warrington’s Leeds backyard.
‘El Venado’ has defended once, travelling again this time to Belfast, where he cut through Michael Conlan to score a fifth round stoppage.
Californian Gonzalez (26-3, 15 KOs) is next in line. The 29-year-old is in patchy form, having won three and lost three of his last six contests.
He has twice challenged for the WBO featherweight crown, outscored handily both times by Shakur Stevenson in October 2019, and by Emanuel Naverrete in October 2021.
Gonzalez lost a tight split decision to Isaac Dogboe last July, and returned with a decision win over ten against Enrique Vivas in April.
Prediction: Lopez can bang, but he may be frustrated in his efforts at removing Gonzalez from battle early. I think after a fast start the pace will slow, and Lopez can take a clear decision win.
Ortiz meets Moran
Lightweight talent Jamaine Ortiz returns from defeat to Vasiliy Lomachenko last time out, and the American should have too much skill for Antonio Moran (29-5-1, 20 KOs).
Prediction: Ortiz (16-1-1, 8 KOs) can come through on the cards after ten rounds.
Zayas clashes with Valenzuela Jr
Promising super welterweight Xander Zayas (16-0, 10 KOs) also sees action, and the Puerto Rican can defend his NABF and WBO NABO belts with a points win over ten against Roberto Valenzuela Jr (21-4, 20 KOs).
View this post on Instagram
In eight rounders, Robson Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs) continues his rebuild after world title defeats against Oscar Valdez and Shakur Stevenson, and the Brazilian can take a decision victory against Humberto Galindo (14-3-1, 11 KOs) in their super featherweight meeting.
Omar Alejandro Aguilar (25-1, 24 KOs) can win early at welterweight against Julio Luna Avila (20-1-2, 11 KOs), and former world title challenger, Ruben Villa (20-1, 7 KOs) should ease past Brandon Valdes (15-3, 7 KOs) on the cards at featherweight.
View this post on Instagram
The final eight rounder is at super lightweight, where Delante Johnson (9-0, 5 KOs) should take care of Ricardo Quiroz (13-2, 7 KOs) via wide decision.
In six round action, Emiliano Vargas (6-0, 5 KOs) can take the battle of unbeatens at lightweight against Alejandro Guardado (5-0, 1 KO) early, and John Rincon (7-0, 2 KOs) can outscore Bryan Ismael Rodriguez Rivera (4-1-1, 2 KOs) at welterweight.