Thursday, September 21, 2023  |


Luis ‘Venado’ Lopez scheduled to defend his belt against Joet Gonzalez on Sept. 15

Luis Alberto Lopez took down a local hero with his fifth-round knockout of Conlan. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Fighters Network

Looks likes Luis Lopez’s next defense of his world title belt will come stateside.

Lopez will likely defend his IBF featheweight title against Joet Gonzalez on September 15, a source confirmed to The Ring Thursday morning. ESPN’s Mike Coppinger was the first to break the story.

The 12-round bout will take place in Corpus Christi, Texas, at a still-to-be-determined venue, and will air live on an ESPN platform.

Lopez, who resides in Mexicali, Mexico, is currently ranked No. 1 by The Ring at 126 pounds.

The 29-year-old Lopez (28-2, 16 knockouts) last fought on May 27, stopping Michael Conlan in the fifth round. The fight took place in Conlan’s hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland. In his previous fight on December 10, Lopez traveled to Josh Warrington’s hometown of Leeds, England, winning a hard-fought majority decision.

Lopez’s last fight in the United States took place on August 20, which was a knockout win over Colombia’s Yeison Vargas in San Diego, California in a stay-busy fight.

It has been over four years since Lopez last lost. Lopez lost a close unanimous decision to once-beaten contender and former world title challenger Ruben Villa.

Gonzalez (26-3, 15 KOs), who resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendora, defeated Enrique Vivas by unanimous decision in his last fight on April 1. In his previous fight on July 23 of last year, Gonzalez lost by split-decision to former world junior featherweight titleholder Isaac Dogboe.

The 29-year-old has twice challenged for the WBO world featherweight title. Gonzalez lost to Shakur Stevenson in October 2019, losing again almost two years later, again by decision, to Emanuel Navarrete.

Gonzalez is managed by Frank Espinoza and is the older brother of junior welterweight prospect Jousce Gonzalez.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]