Luis Alberto Lopez isn’t the middling featherweight contender he once was. With the IBF strap draped over his shoulders, the 30-year-old is in a groove.
As of late, it’s been nothing but big-name opponents for the current champion. So far, two title defenses down, and an infinite amount to go.
After taking out Michael Conlan via fifth-round stoppage, Lopez (29-2, 16 KOs) took on another notable fighter, this time, in the form of Joet Gonzalez. Lopez promised to punish the fringe contender, even going as far as to say that he would become the first man to stop him. Gonzalez though, if nothing else, showed that his chin was made from unbreakable iron before losing a competitive decision.
Once a microphone was thrown in his face and the cameras were pointed directly at him, Lopez went on to say that his IBF title is a bit lonely. With the featherweight division housing several other champions, Lopez placed a target on the back of Robeisy Ramirez.
The current WBO titleholder didn’t take umbrage with Lopez’s words. He actually sat back and smiled. Holding two Olympic gold medals is one of his proudest achievements, but possessing two featherweight titles simultaneously would make Ramirez as happy as could be.
There is a prequel to Ramirez and Lopez getting it on. The 29-year-old has to hold onto his title when he returns to the ring on November 4th, against a yet-to-be-determined opponent. As long as disaster doesn’t rear its ugly head, Ramirez (13-1, 8 KOs) would love to fight Lopez as soon as possible.
Going back and forth in the media isn’t really Ramirez’s style. All he wants to do is take care of business on November 4th, have a short and sweet negotiation process with Lopez, and move on to a unification clash in the first half of 2024.
“Congratulations on your hard-fought victory," said Ramirez on his social media account. "It’s time to stop talking and give the fans what they want. Cuba vs. Mexico. Champion vs. champion.”