By Marc Livitz: In a super lightweight ten rounder, Arnold Barboza, Jr. easily dispatched of Manuel Lopez as he put on a fine display of pure fighting skills at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday. The win will hopefully put Barboza into a position for a title shot in 2019, according to his wishes.
Barboza (20-0, 7 KO’s) was the more active of the two men early, as he looked to time Lopez moving inward. Arnold continued to snap his left jab in an effort to set up his right uppercut and by the end of the second, the Los Angeles area fighter had his Colorado opponent a bit on the back foot. Manny Lopez (14-3-1, 7 KO’s) changed his tactics once the following round was underway as he stood almost straight up and tried to lure Barboza into a brawl. Shortly thereafter though, Arnold easily adjusted and connected with a few hard body shots which caused Lopez to drop his hands a bit.
He continued to use his jab to set up punches to the midsection as well as connect his hard right to the chin. Lopez tried once again to get Arnold to fight his fight early in the fifth as he threw a few overhand punches in an attempt to really turn the tide, yet it was to no avail. His punches held no power and Barboza took just a few moments to change his mind. Arnold landed more clean punches to the head, a few of which clearly scrambled the head of his foe from Denver.
The sixth was much of the same, with the exception of Lopez moving forward yet throwing fewer shots. Whenever he was able to get Barboza on his back foot, he failed to capitalize and found himself absorbing more head abuse. A few minutes later, Arnold didn’t really need to use his jab to the same extent. His technical abilities were just the clearer of the two as he stuck to sound boxing principles. He’d connect with his jab and follow, then was able to move away from any counter attempts. Always moving and even in close quarters, Manny was unable to hit him. In the closing minute of the ninth, Lopez appeared to be going for the stoppage. His punches jerked Lopez’s head from side to side.
Though brave and willing to take whatever was pitched at him, Manny Lopez was visibly beaten up and down by the time the final round, the tenth was underway. Barboza wouldn’t get the knockout win he’d sought, yet a victory nonetheless. Scores of 100-90 were submitted in triplicate to award him with the unanimous decision victory.
“I worked on everything in the gym, but I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t get him outta there,” he said. “We want Jose Ramirez or any champion. Let’s just make it happen. Ramirez has faced opponents who close up in front of him and I don’t do that.”
Additional Results from Corpus Christi
Vacant WBC Americas Bantamweight Title: Joshua Greer, Jr. KO 7 Daniel Lozano
Featherweight: Mikaela Mayer UD 8 Calista Silgado
Super Featherweight: Jamel E. Herring UD 8 Adeilson Dos Santos
Bantamweight: Ruben Vega D 6 Oscar Mojica
Super Featherweight: Gabriel Flores, Jr. UD 6 Edward Kakembo
Welterweight: Alcibiade Duran-Galvin TKO 1 Leonardo Pena
Super Bantamweight: Jesus Arechiga UD 4 David Martino