Rugged veteran contender Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Miguel Cruz (17-1, 11 KOs) in a welterweight attraction that headlined Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday night from Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.
"I beat a great undefeated fighter tonight and I was able to out class him," said Lopez. "I have some boxing ability clearly. I used my skills tonight. I felt that I dominated the pace, out worked him and I never let him do anything that hurt me."
"Josesito was stronger than I thought," said Cruz. "I took a little too long to get off and get going and it cost me."
The action began to heat up in round three as Lopez broke through and began landing flush on Cruz to the head. Lopez controlled the action against Cruz on the ropes and when the real estate shifted to the middle of the ring.
Cruz, who stated before the fight that attacking the body would be key, was twice deducted points by referee Rafael Ramos for low blows, once in round five and again in round six. This forced Cruz to abandon his predominant strategy.
"I didn't agree with the calls on the low blows," said Cruz. "I didn't get a chance to work the body like I wanted. That was the plan coming in. They took it away from me.
"This is just another step in my journey. I didn't get hurt or anything. I just need to get better in the gym and keep working combinations. I just have to get better."
Under the guidance of renowned trainer Robert Garcia, Lopez boxed effectively and worked through the body attack and low blows to consistently win rounds and keep Cruz's offense mostly at bay. After 10 rounds, judges ruled in favor of Lopez by scores of 98-90 and 99-89 twice.
"I think the biggest difference has been Robert Garcia in my corner," said Lopez. "He has me living a healthier lifestyle and that played a big part in my victory. I have an elite trainer who is training me like an elite fighter. I was one step behind in the past, but now I think I've made up that distance and then some.
"Welterweight has a lot of good fighters, but I know I can compete with them. I'm a fan-friendly fighter who's always going to leave it all in the ring."