Luis Alberto Lopez wants the thickest smoke he can get in the featherweight division.
The proud Mexican veteran also wants what he considers appropriate purses for fights against fellow featherweight champions Robeisy Ramirez and Leigh Wood or Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue. Ramirez, the WBO 126-pound champ, needs an opponent for his November 4 bout, whereas Wood is scheduled to defend his WBA belt against Josh Warrington on October 7 and Inoue is headed for a 122-pound title unification fight with Marlon Tapales.
“I’ll fight against anyone,” Lopez told BoxingScene.com through a translator. “I’ve said it a lot. Every single contract that has been sent to me, I have signed it. I’m always ready to fight. Now it’s time for me to be valued, to pay me more, to give me those big purses, to give purses to those warriors like me, who always give great shows. It could be against Robeisy Ramirez or against Inoue, who says he wants to move up in weight. Those are great fights that the people wanna see.”
Mexicali’s Lopez (29-2, 16 KOs) made a second successful defense of his IBF featherweight title Friday night. He unanimously outpointed Joet Gonzalez (26-4, 15 KOs) in a 12-round main event ESPN televised from American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Lopez is much more interested in adding featherweight titles to his collection. He and Cuba’s Ramirez (13-1, 8 KOs) are promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., which should make it easier to put that fight together.
“It would be a great fight,” Lopez said. “Robeisy is an Olympic boxer, but I’m strong and I’m able to take punches. And my punches come from different angles, something you have a hard time expecting from me. So, it would be a great fight for the people.”
Wood (27-3, 16 KOs) or Warrington would be appealing opponents because Lopez beat Warrington (31-2-1, 8 KOs) by majority decision to win his IBF title last December 10 at First Direct Arena in Warrington’s hometown of Leeds, England. Lopez said he would gladly travel to England again to face the Wood-Warrington winner next.
“Of course I want unification fights,” Lopez said. “That’s what most interests me now. Let’s do it. But like I’ve said, as long as they pay me well to give those great shows.”
Arum mentioned Ramirez in a recent interview with BoxingScene.com as a potential opponent for Inoue if Inoue (25-0, 22 KOs) beats the Philippines’ Tapales (37-3, 19 KOs) and moves up to the 126-pound division for his following fight. Inoue is the WBC/WBO 122-pound champion and Tapales owns the IBF and WBA belts.
If Inoue-Ramirez doesn’t materialize, Lopez would welcome a showdown with the hard-hitting, undefeated four-division champion.
“It would be a great fight against Inoue because he’s an aggressive fighter and I’m an aggressive fighter,” Lopez said. “It would be a real clash, good for the people. There would be a lot of interest.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.