Luis Alberto Lopez retained his IBF featherweight title, defeating Joet Gonzalez by unanimous decision at the US Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

But their battle was closer than the judges’ scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 might suggest.

Lopez is in great form, defeating Josh Warrington in Leeds and Michael Conlan in Belfast to win and retain his world title.

Luis Alberto Lopez tags designer Goet Gonzalez (Photo: Mickey Williams/Top Rank)

He dominated his contest with Gonzalez early only for the latter to come back strong later.

Gonzalez targeted the body in the first round but as the contest progressed Lopez was landing his shots from distance.

The champion can look wild when he jumps forward with powerful punches, but he worked with counter punches to thwart Gonzalez from gaining momentum.

However, the challenger was desperate to win a world title at his third attempt and piled up the pressure in the closing stages of the bout.

That was not enough to derail Lopez.

“It was a very close fight. We know that Goet Gonzalez was moving forward. He wasn’t going to take a step back. I know it was a tough fight, but I know I won,” Lopez said afterward.

Gonzalez fought Shakur Stevenson and Emanuel Navarrete in his previous world title fights and was denied the title again.

“I thought the results should have been a little closer,” Gonzalez said. “In general, I’m very disappointed in my performance.”

Luis Alberto Lopez celebrates his victory over Joet Gonzalez (Photo: Micky Williams/Top Rank)
Luis Alberto Lopez celebrates his victory, but admits it was close (Photo: Mickey Williams/Top Rank)

“I felt like I could have done a lot better. By far, this is the worst performance of my title fights, even though I prepared perfectly. I’m really disappointed in my performance.

“I felt like I did better in my other world title fights. I felt like I got hit less. I felt like I hit some good shots, but I feel like I could have done a lot better.”

Despite this, Lopez stated: “We knew that Goet Gonzalez is a very dangerous fighter. He never stops attacking. He can take anything you throw at him. We knew that this is what he came to do and that he came with a lot of hunger to take the ball.” . The title is far from me, but I am also very hungry to remain champion.

“I hurt him. I saw I hurt him. But, like I said, he’s a warrior who can handle anything you throw at him, even a bucket. He’s still standing, and my respects to him.”

The prospect of a rapid rise to super welterweight in Puerto Rico Xander Zayas He showed his speed and strength when he fell Roberto Valenzuela Twice in the first round before finally defeating him in the fifth round.

“We knew it was a matter of time,” Zayas said. “I came here to achieve a goal. I came here to let everyone know at 154 pounds that I’m coming to achieve everything.

“They said he was a tough guy, and I dominated the night. I’m competing now at 154 pounds,” he continued.

“I’ll be ready for a world title shot. All respect to Roberto. He was a fighter like I knew he would be.”

Emiliano Fernando Vargasthe son of former two-time world champion Fernando Vargas, scored a stunning third-round stoppage-time win. Alejandro Guardado.

A counter left hook set Vargas up for an attack that ended the bout.

“We’re going to work there. It’s nice to be here with all my beautiful Mexican fans. I love what I do. I get up early in the morning and it’s not work. I can’t,” Vargas said. Wait until I come back.”

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