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Q&A: Abraham Lopez

03
Aug
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Abraham Lopez faces Jorge Diaz on Thursday at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. It will be the third fight in less than five months for Lopez, since his extended hiatus.

The 27-year-old boxer-puncher was unhappy with his promotional and managerial pacts with Thompson Boxing and Gary Shaw and Frank Espinoza, respectively, and elected to sit out his remaining three years of those contracts.

“I was always training,” Lopez told RingTV.com. “In 2012, one of my buddies, he graduated from UCLA law and he read my contract and he told me, ‘Just keep training in case they call you,’ so I was always ready. They never called. The contract expired and I became a free man. That’s when I started talking to people from Golden Boy [Promotions].”

Since returning from his self-imposed exile “Chamaco” (“Kid”) has gone 1-0-1 (1) taking his overall record to 18-0-1 with 13 stoppages.



Last time out, Lopez impressively became only the second man to stop Alfred Tetteh, landing a well-placed body shot high on the Ghanaian’s ribs that dropped him for the count.

“I was waiting for my opportunity to catch him with a body shot,” the La Puente-born featherweight said of the knockout. “I was hitting him with everything I had in the head and it didn’t seem to phase him. He was walking and even smirking at me when I was hitting him in the face. So I knew I had to start working the body, so I could bring him down. And I got that opportunity with that body shot and he stayed down on the floor, which was better for me.”

The Golden Boy Promotions card will also feature some of their top, up-and-coming talent, including Julian Ramirez, Roy Tapia and Francisco Ochoa. The FOX Deportes telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.

 

RingTV.com – What are your thoughts on your fight with Jorge Diaz?

Abraham Lopez – I feel great. I’m going to do my job and hopefully get the win. I’m going to try everything to put on a show for the fans.

RTV – What do you think he will bring to this fight?

AL – From what I’ve studied on video, he does the same thing over and over, which is he tries to be the aggressor; he tries to put on pressure. He’s 18-3-1 with 10 knockouts. He idolizes Arturo Gatti, which is fine. I know Arturo Gatti had trouble with Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather [Jr.], who outboxed him. That’s what I have to do: outbox him. That’s what I’m going to do; that’s how I’m winning.

RTV – You had been away from boxing for three years up until earlier this year.

AL – We had issues with the promotional [Thompson Boxing and Gary Shaw Productions] and managerial [Frank Espinoza] side of things. My contract expired and now I’m signed with Golden Boy. It’s been a blessing; this is where I should have been all along. Now I look forward to becoming world champ with my new company.

RTV – Can you explain the specifics of what happened?

AL – I was scheduled to fight in September 2012. A week before the physicals, I called and they told me that they wanted me to wait to fight in October. But to extend my training was just too much for the body – especially as I was originally supposed to fight in July and then they said, “Be ready in September,” so I never stopped training. So September came along and I had an opponent, then they told me to be ready to fight in October. It was too long of a camp so my body was already tired and I needed a break. They got mad. I told them I would fight in November and they didn’t accept.
I told them to let me know two months before I could fight again so I could be ready and they never contacted me again. My contract expired in 2014, so, being out for that long, I finished school and started working as a respiratory therapist. Being sidelined made me hungry. It freshened me up and I dedicated [myself] to boxing and reaching a goal of mine that I have had since I was little and be a world champion some day. After my contract expired, I contacted Golden Boy and now I am here.
RTV – Are you able to implement advantages from being a respiratory therapist into boxing?
AL – When I work out, I tend to do some exercises that help me expand my lungs and get greater volume, which helps me reduce any tachycardia. So, I tend to relax and take deep breaths and that gets me the conditioning I need so I won’t panic in the ring.
RTV – This fight will be your third fight in less than five months, since your layoff. That has helped get rid of the ring rust?
AL – Yeah, I felt rusty in my last fight [and] in the first fight. After that, I felt comfortable inside the ring. I think being active is going to help me. I’m not getting any younger. The goal is to become world champ, so that is something I want hopefully by next year.
RTV – Your first bout back was a draw. What would you say about that blemish on your record?

AL – [Juan Carlos Martinez] was actually trained by Joel Diaz. Joel Diaz is a great trainer [and is now Lopez’s trainer]. I knew he was going to be very well prepared, very well trained. He knows me because he trained me for a few fights and helped me out in my corner. Coming back, facing [Martinez] was a little nerve-wracking but I felt great. Actually I broke his orbital bone and jaw. I did some damage. It was like a moral victory. It that fight was scheduled for 10 rounds, I don’t think that guy would’ve gone 10 rounds. Things happen. I’m happy with the decision. It wasn’t a win; it wasn’t a loss. After being out three years, I’ll take whatever it is. Joel Diaz said, “I told [Martinez] not to take the fight but he needed the money.” I was like, “Hey, no worries.” He said, “I want to work with you in the future,” and, in my last fight, he helped me out; he was in my corner. I feel comfortable with Joel Diaz in my corner as well.

RTV – When you look at the featherweight division, what are your thoughts?

AL – It’s OK. I love to fight. It’s competition at the end of the day. I’ll fight anybody, I’ll fight all of them at the same time. I’m a fighter; I have that hunger. I have an education over everybody because my IQ is – I want to say higher – with an education. I’ll fight whoever; it doesn’t matter.

RTV – Who are your boxing heroes?

AL – Ricardo Lopez. He was like his nickname [“Finito”]. He was fine; his style was perfect. He accomplished 15 years undefeated as a world champion. He can do everything; he can fight on the inside, on the outside. He was great at what he did. He was one of my favorite fighters of all time. He also has a very good surname (laughs). I’ve never met him. Hopefully, one day, I get to meet him. I’d be so happy to one day meet him. I see Oscar [De La Hoya] and I get starstruck still (laughs).
RTV – Tell us about your life away from boxing.

AL – I’m full-time boxing. I love to relax when I can because of all the workouts I do. I love to stay active; I love to be outdoors, hiking, bikes, swimming. My passion is reading books, learning about the body, how the brain works, I love psychology books; I’m a book fiend.

RTV – In closing, do you have a message for the featherweight division?
AL – Be ready; I’m coming. I want to take all the titles; that’s a goal of mine. I’m not afraid of anyone.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright.