Elorde Claims Sato Refused To Engage Sylvester Lopez
by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Promoter Gabriel "Bebot" Elorde Jr claims that World Boxing Council super flyweight Silver champion Sylvester Lopez failed in his bid to win the world crown from Japan's Yota Sato at the Bunka Gym in Yokohama on Sunday because the Japanese "didn't want to go toe-to-toe."
Elorde told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Sato's plan was "to just runaway and go the distance."
He said Lopez "did his best to win the fight but what can you do when he (Sato) refused to engage."
Plans call for Lopez to rest for a few days and then get back into the gym and according to Elorde, Lopez "will try to fight at the heavier division" which means moving up to bantamweight.
It was obvious from the Philippine television coverage over AKTV IBC 13 that Lopez couldn't handle the tactics of the taller Sato who was a clear winner on points with two of the three judges giving it to the champion by a comfortable margin while the third judge had it much closer.
Lou Moret scored the fight 119-109 for the defending champion while David Bilocerkowec scored the fight for Sato 118-110. However, South Korea's Chan Soo Kim had Sato ahead by a much closer 116-113 margin.
The 24 year old Lopez had earned the title shot with a stunning 8th round TKO over highly favored Mexican Oscar Ibarra in a title eliminator in Mexico on September 24, 2011 but failed to come close to duplicating that winning performance against the shifty Sato.
With the loss Lopez dropped to 19-4-1 with 15 knockouts while his 28 year old opponent Yota Sato improved to 25-2-1 with 12 knockouts.
Sato used his right hook to catch Lopez several times in the early rounds and was up by a shutout 40-36 after the first four rounds on the scorecards of Moret and Bilocerkowec while Kim had Sato ahead by a slim 39-38 margin.