Three months after breathing new life into his boxing career, Ganigan Lopez has likely reached the end of the road.
The former junior flyweight titlist landed on the very wrong end of a major upset, as career long journeyman Armando Torres scored a stunning 1st round knockout of his countryman Friday evening at Auditorio Blackberry in Mexico City, Mexico.
Lopez was floored twice in the brief affair, the latter leaving him unable to continue in forcing the stoppage.
The crossroads bout was a must-win situation for the pair of near 40 year old southpaws, both of whom were riding high from surprise wins on the same card in July. Lopez recovered from a title fight knockout loss to Angel Acosta with a 10-round split decision over Saul ‘Baby’ Juarez on the same night that saw Torres extend his win streak following a shocking 2nd round knockout of Alejandro Villasenor.
Both boxers moved up to flyweight for this bout, marking Lopez’s third weight class after having served as a strawweight contender and former junior flyweight titlist. The only thing he served on Friday was a willing target for Torres’ high octane attack.
The beginning of the end came midway through the opening round, when Torres connected with an uppercut which sent Lopez flat on the back. The 37-year old barely beat the count but also unable to properly defend himself for the duration of the bout. Torres never stopped coming forward, crashing home another left hand on Lopez’s chin to send him to the canvas for a second time.
Lopez once again arose, his nose bloodied and clearly separated from his senses. As much was detected by the referee, who immediately waved off the contest.
“I’ve been waiting a long time to get revenge,” noted Torres (25-18, 19KOs), who avenged a near nine year old points loss to Lopez when the two first met in Jan. 2011.
The win is Torres’ fourth straight after having dropped eight of his previous ten bouts. The current win streak is his longest since jumping out to a 6-0 career start before falling on hard times.
Interestingly, Lopez (36-10, 19KOs) has never won more than seven in a row at any point in his career, yet managed to put a major title around his waist. It came on his second try, pushing past a July 2015 loss to then 108-pound titlist Pedro Guevara to win the same belt on the road after outpointing Yu Kimura in March 2016. Just one successful defense followed before dropping a competitive decision to the unbeaten and excellent Ken Shiro in May 2017, coming up miserably short in a 2nd round knockout loss in their rematch last May.
One more crack at a 108-pound strap came this March, when Acosta manhandled the southpaw en route to an 8th round stoppage. A win on Friday would have put him closer to a title shot in the flyweight division, but retirement is very much a consideration after the shocking loss.
In that same vein, Torres hopes to parlay Friday’s win into a major title shot—one which would be his first in a career coming up on 21 full years in service.
The bout aired live on Telemundo.
UNDERCARD (SHOWN VIA SAME DAY DELAY)
In a bout which eerily mirrored the main event, Jose Guadalupe Carrillo scored two knockdowns en route to a 1st round knockout of Juan Carlos Galicia in a battle of local junior featherweights.
Carrillo was aggressive from the outset, winging wild but effective power punches in the direction of Galicia (0-2), whom he floored early in the bout courtesy of a sweeping left hook. Galicia beat the count but spend the duration of the brief affair under siege. Carrillo closed the show in emphatic fashion, ending a flurry with a right hand to produce the second knockdown which prompted an on-the-spot stoppage.
In by far the most competitive an entertaining bout of the evening, Giovanni Garcia (5-2-2, 0KOs) and Sergio Mejia (3-3-1, 0KO)s fought to a spirited eight-round draw. it was a give and take affair throughout, with a lot of action yet little from which to differentiate between the pair of local flyweights, neither of whom have scored a single knockout between them.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox