In a stunning upset, junior welterweight Wilberth Lopez (19-8, 13 KOs) thoroughly stymied Jose Roman (24-2-1, 16 KOs) to win by unanimous decision in Friday’s “New Blood” main event.
Lopez, a southpaw fighting out of San Diego, Calif., controlled the pace of the fight from start-to-finish by landing numerous left hands throughout the eight-round fight.
By the end of the third round, Lopez had established a comfortable rhythm, while Roman struggled to decipher how to attack the taller and naturally bigger Lopez.
Lopez, who came into the fight as a seasoned boxer despite his young age of 22, nailed Roman repeatedly with an accurate jab and a strong left hand. Roman was forced to box from his back foot, a strategy that left him swinging at air.
“I think I beat him to the punch,” said Lopez, who won with scores of 79-73, 80-72, and 78-74. “I was confident that I could beat him. I just had to go out there and prove it, and I did.”
Prior to the main event, promoter Ken Thompson invited Danny Roman inside the ring to receive his WBA Super Bantamweight World Title. Roman dethroned Shun Kubo by ninth round knockout earlier this month to become the latest boxer from the Thompson Boxing stable to procure a world title.
In the co-feature, blue-chip featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (8-0, 4 KOs) of Salinas, Calif. displayed his superior talent by out boxing veteran Ernesto Guerrero (26-20, 18 KOs) of Mexico through six rounds. Villa swept all three scorecards (60-54) to continue an impressive start to his young career.
In what was perhaps his toughest test to date, Villa performed admirably and displayed his quickness by darting in and out of danger, all the while landing power shots to the head and body.
“We had a game plan for Guerrero and we executed it perfectly,” Villa said. “We gave him different looks and fought him from different angles. I don’t think he ever got comfortable.”
Villa is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions.
Welterweight Juan Ruiz (20-0, 12 KOs) of Venezuela used excellent boxing skills to dismantle Mexico’s Erick Martinez (13-9-1, 7 KOs) through eight rounds (80-72 x3). Ruiz patiently walked back Martinez with a steady jab and routine body punching.
Martinez never landed anything of substance, while Ruiz, seemingly without effort, cut off the ring and forced Martinez to fight on the ropes and in the corners.
Top junior lightweight prospect Michael Dutchover (6-0, 4 KOs) of Midland, Tex. knocked down Mexico’s Carlos Flores (4-6-1, 3 KOs) in the opening round to get things going on his way to a unanimous decision sweep (40-35).
Throughout the fight, Dutchover snapped his left jab to set up an inside attack that left Flores bruised and battered by the fourth round.
“I had a lot of success working off the jab,” said Dutchover, who is co-promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. “I’m happy with the win. I’ll rest for a little, and then I’ll be back in the gym working to get better.”
Lightweight Ruben Torres (2-0, 2 KOs) of Los Angeles made quick work of Nebraska’s Ernest Knight (0-2) in the “New Blood” show opener. Torres knocked down the lanky Knight within the first minute of the opening round and a straight right toward the end sealed his fate.
Torres has started his professional career with back-to-back first round knockout wins.
“New Blood” was presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Lucas Oil, in association with Everlast.
For more information, please visit ThompsonBoxing.com.
PHOTO CREDIT: CARLOS BAEZA / THOMPSON BOXING PROMOTIONS