Sylvester Lopez: "I'm After The Belt, Not The Money"

By JM Siasat

PARANAQUE, Philippines- Walking in to a small and worn out looking boxing gym located in the city of Paranaque, Philippines, people would not think that a formidable boxing contender is currently training for a world title fight. It's in this place where former WBC Silver super flyweight champion, Sylvester "Silver" Lopez (19-3-1, 15KO's) currently holds his training camp. He thinks that this world title shot has been long overdue, a title shot that he was deprived of since Tomas Rojas' title reign.

The hard hitting super flyweight contender from the Philippines started boxing at the age of 13, fought at least 4 times a month as an amateur to the point that he can no longer recall the number of bouts he had. What he recalls is an important date, June 24, 2005 was when he met his manager Gabriel "Bebot" Elorde who guided his boxing career since then. One year after, he found himself competing in the pro arena.

"I chose to be a boxer because it's in our blood" said Lopez whose father and siblings also belong in the world boxing.

Lopez last fought in March when he stopped Japan's Yuki Fukumoto (12-5, 3KO's) in fourrounds. Just 3 days after the bout, the hard working Lopez was back in the gym knowing full well he's up next for a world title shot on July 8th against champion Yota Sato (24-2-1, 12KOs) at the Bunka Gym in Yokohama.

"I went back to training but I made sure we'll be on track and the pacing is right. I'm taking vitamins and supplements. I'm confident that I won't over train for this fight." explained Lopez.

Lopez describes Sato as a slick type of fighter who likes to move and use his jab. Lopez is aware that he needs to be patient and use proper technique to win the crown. It is a fight plan that may concern many observers in case the fight gets decided on the scorecards for he will be fighting in Sato's home turf. Lopez on the other hand, chooses to remain optimistic.

"I'm training to the fullest so I don't lose, I also have to be careful with headbutts. I have to trust the officials, myself and God. I have to utilize my speed and power to catch him. The knockout will come, what I'll do is put work in the ring and fight the way we have to fight. I will do everything to win" told Lopez.

Lopez' hard work in training is underlined by the fact that he currently spars with world rated Filipino prospect, Froilan Saludar (15-0, 11KO's).

"We added more rounds, we're training him harder" explained Lopez' trainer, Archier Villamor. "We need to perform good in the early rounds, then we'll look for a knockout. We must go for a knockout because if the fight gets close then we'll lose on the scorecards. It happens to any country, we can't afford to have a close fight" continued Villamor.

Unlike many professional boxers, the young 24 year old contender seems to have his future sorted out.

"When life gets better I will exit boxing. It's good to be a boxer because I can help my family but I won't be a boxer for the rest of my life". And while Lopez is glad of being able to help his family due to boxing paydays, he has a more focused approach going to the fight. "We're not after the money, we're after the belt. The money will come later".

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