By Robert Morales
Abraham Lopez first laced up the boxing gloves at the age of six. Two years later, he started his amateur career.
"I had about 130 bouts, only lost 15," said Lopez, 24, of La Puente. "I remember those because I don't like losing. I hate losing, man."
Lopez hasn't lost as a pro, compiling a record of 16-0 with 12 knockouts. He will put that on the line on March 16th when he takes on Gabriel Tolmajyan (12-1-1, 3 KOs) of Glendale in the featherweight semi-main event at Morongo Casino in Cabazon (on ESPN2).
Lopez obviously has that fire in his belly any boxer needs to become world-class. He also seems to have a calm about him, which is another ingredient necessary for anyone wanting to be all he can be in the ring.
Although he has been on TV before, this time he might be under a little more scrutiny because he's at that point in his career where he's either going to show he's got the goods to make it to the promised land, or he doesn't.
But he spoke like there is no added pressure.
"It's a big fight, but I take it as just another fight for me," Lopez said. "It doesn't matter how big this event is, to me it's another fight I have to go out and win. To me that is the most important thing, winning."
Lopez is smart too. He is trained by his father, Rafael Lopez Sr., out of their home.
The elder Lopez' assistant is world-class trainer Joel Diaz of Coachella. There's a reason for that.
"The day of the fight he gets kind of ... it's hard for him to see me in that ring," Lopez said of his father. "So he needs someone cool and collected to tell me what to do as well.
"I don't have a kid who plays a sport. But he says he gets hot-headed and doesn't know what to say."
Like any fighter with talent, it's Lopez' goal to become a world champion. He said he doesn't have a timeline for when he would like to get that shot - he leaves that up to his promoter (Ken Thompson) and manager (Frank Espinoza).
It's one fight at a time.
Robert Morales covers boxing for the LA Daily News and BoxingScene.com