By Marc Livitz at ringside: Teofimo Lopez dazzled, danced and went on to pummel Diego Magdaleno in the night’s co-main event at the Ford Center. The NABF, NABA and USBA lightweight titles were on the line and the bout was never a real contest as Lopez continued to show why he’s one of the sport’s top up and coming talents.
Magdaleno (31-3, 13 KO’s), a two time world challenger held his guard high in the beginning of the first round as Teofimo looked to use his jab to find an opening. Diego found a bit of success with a straight right just before the round ended, which only awakened the 2016 Olympian from Brooklyn. Lopez (12-0, 10 KO’s) returned the favor threefold to end the period.
A minute into the second, Teofimo connected with a solid right uppercut which briefly staggered Magdaleno. He scored further with a three punch combination a minute later, much to the delight of the crowd. Lopez forced Diego into a corner and began to fire away, yet the 33 fight veteran from Las Vegas was able to get away. Diego’s face was showing signs of severe wear as he returned to his corner. Lopez scored with another uppercut a minute into round three.
“Mr. Brooklyn” continued to take advantage of Magdaleno’s habit of dropping his guard after he jabbed and he took this strategy into the fourth. His punches kept on landing as Diego, to his credit kept on firing back. Teofimo’s shots were continuing to redden as well as bloody his Vegas opponent’s face, yet as was the case in previous rounds, Diego returned to his side after the fifth with his head held high. Round six was much the same, as Lopez had a veteran in front of him who wouldn’t go away.
At last, the knockdown which seemed to be a long time coming arrived with ten seconds left, thanks to a left hook to the head which had been set up by a quick right to the body. Diego fell to a knee and then forward, but he got up to move on to the seventh. Lopez threw the lot at Magdaleno from the moment the period began.
Hard head shots that visibly shook the former world title challenger, who simply smiled back and beckoned his 21 year old foe to keep it coming. Teofimo obliged. Two successive left hooks to the head sent Diego to his back and left him momentarily motionless. He did try to regain his bearings, at least by raising his head, yet referee Greg Alvarez easily reached a ten count at the 1:09 mark of round seven, after which Lopez executed a back flip in the ring.
“Today, I learned something knew. There are going to be tough fighters, the Brooklyn fighter siad in the ring after the win. “We were picking our shots. He wanted to go toe-toe, but we had to be smart about it. I felt like a champ.” He continued, “Teofimo Lopez, whether you hate him or like him, you’re still gong to watch him. It’s nothing personal. It’s just business and this is the entertainment business. 2019. I’m ready for a world title shot now.”