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Mendez Fends Off Cagey Lopez For Split Decision Win

By Jake Donovan

SALINAS—Paul Mendez extended his unbeaten streak to 15 straight, but was forced to work every step of the way in outpointing veteran David Lopez over 10 rounds Friday evening at Salinas Storm House in Salinas, California. 

The Fox Sports 1-televised bout was competitive throughout, with Mendez a step ahead for most of the night, but Lopez managing to land just enough to keep the Bay Area prospect honest. 

Mendez threw and landed more punches, also connecting at a higher percentage. Lopez faced additional adversity in having to overcome a cut over his eye, severe enough to prompt a visit from the ringside physician prior to the start of round nine.

The irony in the sudden medical concern was that it preceded Lopez' best round—or at least his best sequence—towards the end of the eighth. Mendez was boxing well, but got careless in the final 30 seconds, as Lopez connected with a long right hand to briefly stun the crowd favorite.

It was indicative of Lopez' plan of attack all evening—taking two to land one, but the one he'd land having an immediate impact. His fight plan resonated with at least one judge, getting a 96-94 scorecard in his favor.

The tally was overturned by scores of 97-92 and 98-91 in favor or Mendez, whose record moves to 18-2-2 (8KOs). Lopez—who celebrated his 20th year in the sport in May—suffers his third straight loss, though valiant in defeat as the 37-year old southpaw from Mexico falls to 41-16-1 (23KOs). 

UNDERCARD

Andy Vences preserved his undefeated record following a one-punch, 4th round knockout of Santiago Guevara in a televised swing bout. A right hand put Guevara down early in round four, with his reaction upon rising prompting referee Edward Collantes to stop the fight midway through his count. 

The official time was 0:37 of round four. Vences improves to 12-0 (8KOs); Guevara suffers his second straight loss, falling to 8-2. 

Alan Sanchez earned his fourth straight win, cruising to an eight-round decision over Carlos Lozano (7-5, 4KOs) in their Fox Sports 1-televised welterweight bout Friday evening in Salinas, California. 

Scores were 79-73 (twice) and 80-72 in favor of Sanchez (16-3-1, 8KOs), who was the busier, more accurate and more aggressive fighter in each and every round of the televised co-feature attraction. 

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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