ARLINGTON, Texas – Francisco Santana stated Thursday that his fight against Josesito Lopez would be a “West Coast Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward.”
Santana came to fight Saturday night and was too brave for his own good, but Lopez stopped him in the 10th round of a largely one-sided welterweight fight at AT&T Stadium. Lopez dropped Santana once apiece in the first, ninth and 10th rounds, before referee Neal Young finally stopped the action at 1:22 of the final round on the Errol Spence Jr.-Danny Garcia undercard.
Lopez (38-8, 21 KOs, 1 NC), of Riverside, California, joined Karim Mayfield as the only two opponents who’ve stopped Santana inside the distance. Santana (25-9-1, 12 KOs), of Santa Barbara, California, has lost five of his past six fights.
Lopez, sensing Santana was ready to go, hit him with a left hook that made Santana take a knee early in the 10th round. The ever-brave Santana stood up again and somehow was allowed to continue.
That enabled Lopez to land several more flush punches unnecessarily, before Young finally stepped between them to stop their fight, with Santana still standing.
A flurry of flush punches by Lopez, initiated by two rights to Santana’s head and a left hook to his body, made Santana take a knee with just over 30 seconds to go in the ninth round. Santana got up, but Lopez drilled him with a right hand that made him stumble on his way back to the corner after that ninth round ended.
A straight right by Lopez stopped Santana in his tracks with about 40 seconds remaining in the eighth round.
Lopez landed several hard right hands while Santana was backed into the ropes late in the seventh round. Santana succeeded during the sixth round, when he pressed the action and out-landed Lopez.
Lopez landed a right hand to the side of Santana’s head that backed him into the ropes just before the halfway point of the fifth round.
Young warned Lopez for landing a low left toward the end of the fourth round. Lopez did some solid body work during the fourth round prior to that foul.
Lopez landed a right hand to Santana’s forehead that wobbled him during the third round. Santana landed a flush left hook toward the end of the second round, but Lopez fired right back with a hard, right hand.
Lopez landed a right to the top of Santana’s head, then a thudding right to his body and yet another right up top that sent Santana to the canvas at about the midway mark of the opening round. A stunned Santana got up and appeared to land a right hand of his own later in the first round that buzzed Lopez.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.