Former WBC junior flyweight titleholder Ganigan Lopez won a hard-fought 10-round unanimous decision over Ricardo Rodriguez on Friday at the Auditorio Blackberry in Mexico City. Scores were 98-92 twice and 97-93.
The 37-year-old Lopez captured a regional title belt with the victory.
This was a crossroads bout between two Mexico City fighters in desperate need of a win. Lopez had lost two of his previous three fights, while Rodriguez had lost his previous three, including a knockout defeat to then-WBO junior bantamweight titleholder Naoya Inoue.
Rodriguez was the aggressor from the opening bell, closing the distance and landing left hooks.
However, by the third round, southpaw Lopez had figured out Rodriguez and was countering effectively with left hands. Lopez was also effective when he initiated exchanges, keeping Rodriguez honest and off-balance.
But Rodriguez was still dangerous as he continued to press forward. He stunned Lopez with a right hand midway through Round 7, although he was unable to capitalize on that success.
“I knew this was not going to be an easy fight,” said Lopez, who lost by knockout at the hands of WBC junior flyweight titleholder Ken Shiro in his last bout on May 25. “(Rodriguez) was a difficult challenge with me moving up in weight.
“We prepared for a difficult fight and we had to be smarter than him. We would like an opportunity to fight for a world title belt. I demonstrated tonight I can still fight.”
Lopez improves to 38-5 (19 knockouts), while Rodriguez drops to 16-7 (5 KOs).
Lightweight Eduardo Hernandez Rizo (5-2-3, 2 KOs) overcame a second-round knockdown to knock out Jerson Aguilar.
Aguilar (9-4, 3 KOs) was dropped by a right hand to the body, followed by a right uppercut to the chin in the fourth. However, Hernandez Rizo responded by decking his man with a left hook to the body in the seventh, and referee Rafael Saldana counted Aguilar out at 2:16.
Cesar Soriano Jr. knocked out Martin Escamilla (10-1, 3 KOs) in the second round in a clash of Mexico City lightweights.
Soriano (13-2, 7 KOs) ended matters with a left hook to the stomach which dropped Escamilla to the canvas, where he was counted out at 2:49.
Junior middleweight Kevin Salgado (7-0, 4 KOs) knocked out Marco Chino Villa (2-2) at 2:13 of the second round.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October 2013. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing
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