By Keith Idec

LAS VEGAS – Abraham Lopez just couldn’t keep Jesus Rojas off of him.

A relentless Rojas pressured Lopez throughout their featherweight fight, displayed superior power by dropping Lopez three times and stopped him in the eighth round Friday night. Puerto Rico’s Rojas won the NABA 126-pound championship from the previously unbeaten Lopez on the Yuriorkis Gamboa-Robinson Castellanos undercard at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Rojas’ win was broadcast by ESPN2 as part of the “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN” series.

The 30-year-old Rojas, of Caguas, Puerto Rico, improved to 25-1-2 and produced his 18th knockout. The 29-year-old Lopez, of La Puente, California, fell to 22-1-1 (15 KOs) and was knocked off his path toward a featherweight world title shot.

A courageous Lopez fended off Rojas as long as he could, but his heavier-handed opponent’s vicious assault in the eighth round forced referee Tony Weeks to stop the action.

Rojas’ straight right hand dropped Lopez with a little more than two minutes to go in the eighth round. Lopez got up again, but Rojas continued hitting him with power punches against the ropes.

Weeks stopped the fight at 1:47 of the eighth round.

Rojas produced a strong sixth round, in which he hit Lopez with several power punches as Lopez laid against the ropes.

Lopez and Rojas engaged in a great exchange during the first minute of the fourth round. Neither fighter appeared hurt, but Rojas landed two left hooks to Lopez’s head later in the fourth that prompted Lopez to take a knee for the second time in the fight.

Rojas seemed to hit Lopez after he took a knee, but Weeks didn’t penalize him.

After dropping Lopez in the second round, Rojas continued to pressure Lopez to start the third round. Lopez appeared to slow down Rojas later in the third with several body shots.

Rojas wobbled Lopez with a left hook at about the 1:45 mark of the second round. Rojas followed up with a chopping right hand several seconds later that made Lopez take a knee.

Lopez was able to move around and avoid Rojas long enough to survive the second round. Weeks warned Rojas after the second round ended because he threw a right hand after the bell.

The difference in power was obvious very early in the fight, as Rojas drilled Lopez with a straight right hand in Lopez’s corner less than a minute into it.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.