The Ring

Hall of Fame Profile: Ricardo Lopez

RICARDO LOPEZ

Birthdate: July 25, 1966

Birthplace: Cuernavaca, Mexico

Weight Classes: Strawweight, junior flyweight

Nickname: El Finito

Record: 51-0-1 (38 knockouts)

Titles Held: WBC strawweight, WBA strawweight, IBF junior flyweight

Best Performances: Rosendo Alvarez (D 12, W 12), Saman Soraturung (KO 2), Hideyuki Ohashi (KO 5), Kyung-Yun Lee (W 12), Rocky Lin (KO 2), Kermin Guardia (W 12), Andy Tabanas (KO 12), Ala Villamor (KO 8), Monkol Charoen (W 12), Alex Sanchez (KO 5), Will Grigsby (W 12), Zolani Petelo (KO 8)

Year of IBHOF Induction: 2007

Background: Tallied 37-1 amateur record, including winning the 1984 Mexican Golden Gloves … Turned pro on January 18, 1985, in his hometown of Cuernavaca, Mexico, scoring a third-round knockout. It was the start of a 52-fight undefeated streak that eventually made him one of a handful of world titleholders to retire without a loss … Made his U.S. debut in his 25th bout, knocking out Jorge Rivera in Dallas in March 1990 … Won WBC strawweight title by knocking out Hideyuki Ohashi on Oct. 25, 1990, in Tokyo, Japan … He would go on to tally a division-record 21 consecutive title defenses, including five more fights in Asia: two in Japan, two in South Korea and one in Thailand … By the time he won the title, Lopez had developed into a masterful boxer-puncher under the guidance trainer Nacho Beristain, who would eventually join his pupil in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He moved gracefully and attacked with speed and precision. The left hook was his money punch but he had a complete arsenal of punches … “Beautiful to watch, Lopez uses a stiff, accurate jab, good combination punching, and can take out an opponent with a single blow,” wrote Patrick Myler in his book, A Century of Boxing Greats. “He has a tight defense and never loses his composure” … His second-round knockout of Saman Sorjaturong in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, was especially notable because Sorjaturong would go on to win the WBC junior flyweight title and made 10 successful defenses … Two of the Mexican’s most memorable bouts came against WBA strawweight beltholder Rosendo Alvarez of Nicaragua. Their first fight, on March 7, 1989, in Mexico City, ended in a controversial eight-round technical draw. The brawl appeared to be going Alvarez’s way when it was stopped due to cuts caused by accidental headbutts … The rematch, on Nov. 18, 1998, in Las Vegas, was another give-and-take war in which Lopez won a split decision and the WBA belt … Relinquished the 105-pound titles and moved up to junior flyweight in his next bout, winning the IBF strap with a 12-round decision over Will Grigsby … Only fought once in 2002, and had his final bout on Sept. 29, 2001, knocking out Zolani Petelo at Madison Square Garden … Noticing that his reflexes were slowing, he announced his retirement on Nov. 28, 2002, at a press conference in Mexico City, saying: “I saved money from the ring for my family. I didn’t want to be a great champion in a psychiatric hospital” … Currently works as a broadcaster for the Televisa network.

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