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Abraham Lopez outpoints Sergio Lopez in final LA Fight Club of 2016

Abraham Lopez launches a left uppercut to Sergio Lopez's chest en route to outpointing the Mexican veteran over 10 rounds on Dec. 2, 2016, in Los Angeles. Photo / Golden Boy Promotions

Unbeaten featherweight Abraham Lopez defended his NABA title against Sergio Lopez on Friday at Belasco Theater. Lopez’s 10-round unanimous decision was the final “LA Fight Club” show of 2016.

“He was definitely a warrior,” said Lopez (22-0-1, 15 knockouts), a 29-year-old native of La Puente, California, who won by scores of 100-90 and 99-91 (twice). “I definitely thought that there was moments throughout the fight that he was going to go down, but it goes to show how tough he was. I definitely think that it was my night tonight.”

Sergio Lopez (20-13-1, 13 KOs), a 30-year-old veteran from Ensenada, Mexico, lost almost every round on the official judges’ scorecards but put up enough of a fight to give the standing-room-only crowd a good fight.

“Every time the crowd screamed with emotion, I took pride because I was the one putting on the show,” he said. “I am proud of the work we did tonight, and it felt like a war in the ring.”

In the co-main event Colombian standout Oscar Negrete (15-0, 6 KOs) stopped Raul Hidalgo (25-15, 19 KOs), of Nuevas Casas Grandes, Mexico near the end of the fourth round of a scheduled eight-round bout. It was Negrete’s first bout with up-and-coming trainer Manuel Robles in his corner.

“The game plan is to win,” said Negrete, a 29-year-old bantamweight who is based in Los Angeles. “When you face an experienced fighter like him, you know you are going to encounter some dirty tricks. However, I remembered my training – to keep my distance, to place pressure, and to attack in a manner that would break him down slowly. That was what won this fight.”

Opening up the “Boxeo Estelar” broadcast on EstrellaTV was featherweight prospect Edgar Valerio (9-0, 5 KOs), who gave one of his most complete performances to date, dominating resilient journeyman Guadalupe De Leon (9-15, 5 KOs), of Welasco, Texas, to a sixth-round stoppage. Valerio dropped De Leon in Round 3 and 6, and produced a cut over the 37-year-old veteran’s right eye with a razor-sharp jab between those knockdowns. By the sixth round, following a series of combinations, the referee stopped the fight, awarding the technical knockout to Valerio.

“I was in the ring with a more experienced fighter, and yet I was able to get the win for being the smarter man,” said Edgar Valerio. “We didn’t get much chance to study him as a fighter, but just looking at his past fights and how calm he was in the ring made us switch up the game plan. All in all, I’m thankful to God, my team, and Joel De La Hoya Management for the opportunity.”

On the undercard, which was streamed live on, super middleweight prospect Niko Valdez (3-0, 3 KOs) made quick work of Gainesville, Florida’s Will Williams (0-3), stopping the tall and rangy opponent within the first minute of the opening round.

“The stoppage was going to happen, it was only a matter of when,” said Valdez. “I was expecting my opponent to be on the weaker side since he had trouble making weight, and all I had to do was use my skills to know when to attack and put him against the ropes.”

Jousce Gonzalez (3-0, 3 KOs), of Glendora, California, was able to get the early stoppage of El Paso, Texas’ Jordan Alvarado (0-2) within the first round of the scheduled four-round junior lightweight bout. Gonzalez knocked Alvarado down twice in the fight, the first with a left hand to the temple, the following with a left punch to the body that forced Alvarado to his knee.

“I’m overjoyed by the result, and this sets the tone for my career” said Gonzalez. “But this is only the beginning. I have a long road ahead of me, and I can’t wait to hit the gym to train hard.”

Francisco Esparza (5-0, 2 KOs), of Las Vegas, Nevada, tore through Gerardo Molina (1-3, 1 KO), of Saucillo, Mexico, stopping Molina in Round 2 of the scheduled four-round featherweight bout. Esparza, trained by former two-time 154-pound world champion Fernando Vargas, broke down his opponent with a right to the body, causing the referee stop the fight at 2:59 in the round.

“When a former world champion is your trainer, you get results like these,” Esparza said. “Vargas pushes the best out of me, in and out of the ring. I knew I just had to be patient in the ring. When I landed that right hand, and I saw that I hurt him, and my intuition told me to unleash on him.”

Opening the night and the Ring TV Live stream, Philadelphia’s Todd Unthank-May (10-0, 4 KOs) defeated Daniel Najera (5-1, 1 KO) of Nuevo Leon, Mexico in the first round, adding another knockout to his unblemished record.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to get a knockout,” said Unthank-May. “I knew if I was patient, I would be able to get the result that I wanted, I just had to break him down. I’m excited to maintain this momentum through 2017.”