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Luis Alberto Lopez retained his IBF featherweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Joet Gonzalez at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.

Unfortunately for Gonzalez, the third time wasn’t the charm as he fell short in his third attempt at winning gold. However, the scorecards of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 felt a lot wider than Gonzalez’s performance indicated, especially in the second half of the fight. 

But it was Lopez’ awkward angles and thudding power that made the difference in the fight. 

Lopez (29-2, 16 KOs) entered the ring as a significant favorite after spending the past couple of years overcoming the odds as the underdog. The Mexican’s previous two fights were in the UK but with this bout in Texas on Mexican Independence Day weekend, he sought to put on a show. 

MORE: The Sporting News’ featherweight boxing rankings: Who’s the best at 126?

The champion promised to be the first to knock Gonzalez out, but the three-time title challenger never seemed close to being put away despite all of the heavy power shots that he absorbed from Lopez.

In the early rounds, it appeared that Lopez was going to run away with the fight as he found the mark with leaping right hands and sweeping hooks from unorthodox angles. Gonzalez had difficulty figuring out where the punches were coming from and trying to find a window to counter. 

Gonzalez found the mark with the right hand on occasion and scored repeatedly with it in the sixth round. But Lopez fed Gonzalez some heavy leather to turn the tide back in his favor. 

After falling short against Shakur Stevenson and Emanuel Navarrete in title challenges, Gonzalez fought the second half of the fight like his career depended on it. He put together combinations and punched through the openings that Lopez left him. 

But it was Lopez who had the more effective punches. By the eighth round, Gonzalez was wearing the damage from Lopez’s powerful shots with swelling on the right side of his face. The unorthodox style and awkward angles continued to perplex Gonzalez and limited him from putting together a sustained attack. 

The fight seemed a lot closer than the scorecards read but it would end up being Lopez securing his title and looking ahead to bigger challenges. 

“We knew that Joet Gonzalez is a very dangerous fighter,” Lopez said via a translator. “He never stops attacking. He can take any you throw at him. We knew that’s what we came to do and that he came with a lot of hunger to take the title away from me, but I also am very hungry to remain champion.”

Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez full card results

  • Luis Alberto Lopez def. Joet Gonzalez via unanimous decision (118-110, 117-111 & 116-112) to retain for the IBF featherweight title
  • Xander Zayas def. Roberto Valenzuela Jr. via 5th round TKO (:42)
  • Emiliano Vargas def. Alejandro Guardado via 3rd round TKO (1:07)
  • Julio Luna def. Omar Aguilar via unanimous decision (79-73, 78-74 & 77-75)
  • Jamaine Ortiz def. Antonio Moran via unanimous decision (99-91, 98-92 & 97-93)
  • Ruben Villa def. Brandon Valdes via unanimous decision (78-74, 78-74 & 78-74)
  • Tiger Johnson def. Ricardo Quiroz via majority decision (79-73, 79-73 & 76-76)

MORE: How to bet on Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez

How to watch Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez

Region TV channel Live streaming
Canada TSN+
UK and Ireland Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Arena Sky GO
Australia TBC

Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez price: How much does the card cost? 

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WATCH: Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez, exclusively on ESPN+

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