One on One with Jose Lopez

By Raj Sharma


One on One with Jose Lopez

Jose Lopez is ready for prime time. The lightweight prospect wants to step up the competition after his ten round bout with veteran Luis "Vampiro" Arceo Saturday night in San Jacinto, California.

"I want to start fighting some top dogs," said Lopez, speaking to reporters after a media workout at the Lincoln Boxing Club in his hometown of Riverside Thursday. "I want to get some tough fights, some TV exposure, and let everybody know I’m a threat to the lightweight division."

"Obviously, we’re not looking past ‘Vampiro’," said trainer Henry Ramirez. "An exposure fight-I think we’re in line for one."

The 23-year-old Lopez has developed a solid local following since turning pro in 2003. His record stands at 20-2 with 13 KOs, with his only defeats a decision loss in his third fight and a split decision to fellow prospect Wes Ferguson last year. More apt to brawl earlier in his career, the 5’10 Lopez now relies more on his boxing skills and using his height against normally shorter opponents.

"I think more the maturity and experience level," he said, when asked about the change in style. "At first, just the excitement, the rush, the fans. You get a little too carried away. Luckily, it didn’t turn out bad for me. One punch is all it takes."

Now, he’s ready to step up to the national level like Thompson Boxing Promotions stablemate Timothy Bradley Jr. Bradley, an unbeaten junior welterweight, has been featured on Shobox telecasts three times since December of last year.

"I’m really glad for Tim," said Lopez of Bradley. "He’s a hard worker and it paid off. I want to get that opportunity. We’ve been working together for a good 3 years now. He’s moving on to bigger and better things, I want to get there too."

But first he’ll have to get past Arceo, a former amateur standout in Mexico who started his career 19-1-2 before dropping his last four bouts. Two of the losses were decisions to former contender Jose Santa Cruz and the tough Fernando Trejo. Against Trejo last year, Arceo showed a huge heart and solid chin, absorbing numerous heavy shots before losing the 12 round decision. Lopez believes conditioning could be the deciding factor.

"Stamina," he said, when asked what the difference in the bout would be. " We both got experience. We both have some punch. If nothing happens in the early rounds, that’s gonna be the key."

"It should be my toughest fight so far. I’m glad I’m getting this opportunity, I’m gonna make the best of it."

The Lopez-Arceo bout will headline the 6-bout "Night of Fury" card at the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto. Also slated to see action are rising prospects Dominic Salcido (13-0) and John Molina (7-0). Doors open at 6 p.m. with first bell scheduled for 7 p.m. For ticket information, call 1-866-4-SOBOBA or visit the Soboba Casino website.


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