Total unknown wins WBC featherweight belt

By Hector Linares

30/07/2006

Total unknown wins WBC featherweight belt

Rudolfo Lopez TKO7 Takashi Koshimoto... With the mass exodus of featherweight stars chasing big money fights at junior lightweight, the 126-pound division has become the weakest in boxing. Today in Fukuoka, Japan, the division continued its slide into total chaos as a completely unqualified Rudolfo Lopez claimed the WBC title from Takashi Koshimoto by seventh-round technical knockout in Koshimoto's hometown. Lopez, 19-3-2 with wins over zero quality boxers, shouldn't have even qualified for a title shot and likely would have had difficulty getting approved to fight on ShoBox or an ESPN main event before today: the Mexican was knocked out by a guy with a losing record last December and then beat a .500 fighter before landing this title shot  from the Mexican sanctioning organization. Lopez's opportunity was more likely a reward for his frequent payments of sanction fees to the WBC for its youth title, as opposed to any of his modest ring accomplishments. Still, Lopez made the most of his opportunity by frequently trapping Koshimoto in a corner and dishing out punishment. Koshimoto was leaning against the ropes, basically out on his feet when the referee stopped the bout. Koshimoto announced his retirement afterwards. Entering the bout, Lopez did not appear in Boxingtalk's top thirty and was rated #77 by the IBO, the sport's most reliable computerized ratings. But Lopez now joins Eric Aiken and Scott Harrison, who apparently has a serious drinking problem as claimants to world featherweight titles. Boxingtalk and the WBA have it correctly, recognizing Chris John of Indonesia as the true champion thanks to his victory over Juan Manuel Marquez. source: japan today -- photo: http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/hl?c=photo&d=20060730&a=20060730-04621643-jijp-spo.view-001