Make your own free website on Tripod.com


Danny Lopez

Titles: 1976-1980 WBC featherweight Champiom

Record: 42-6

Born: July 6, 1952 in Fort Duchesme, Utah, USA

Years active: 1971-1980

Nickname:  "Little Red"  

Lopez was perhaps the most exciting fighter to watch during the 1970's. It was hard 
to miss Lopez with a punch and as his 39 K.O's in 42 wins suggest he had the ability 
to knock out his opponents with a single punch. Lopez also had extraordinary 
recuperative powers that rivaled that of Matthew Saad Muhammad, if you knocked 
Lopez down you knew that you were in trouble! Lopez would start slow soaking 
up punishment looking for the hole in his opponents defense. I am not sure how many 
times Lopez hit the canvas but I am sure that he got up every time to fight on. 
Lopez unlike other power punchers did not prefer any single finishing blow, he 
knocked his opponents out in various fashions. He simply carried power in both 
hands and knew when to throw the correct punch. Lopez has to be counted as one of 
the 5 best featherweight punchers of all time. While defense was not his strong 
suit he did move well on his feet but preferred to put himself in a position to 
lead with his punches and invariably in position for return fire. Lopez of Irish, 
Indian and Hispanic mixture was a unlikely looking fighter, with his Hispanic 
features showing under a mop of red hair and long sideburns. Add to this his 
entrances which featured him in a Indian headdress and you can see why he was 
featured on T.V so often. Lopez who had been in foster homes from the age of 8 
began to box as he followed his older brother to Los Angeles and the gyms he would 
train in. After a good but no mean great amateur career Lopez turned pro at 18 and 
found his style made him a instant sensation in the Los Angeles boxing community. 
Lopez went on a 21 fight knockout streak to start his career against strong 
opposition in California. Consider that Lopez knocked out Ruben Olivares, Chucho 
Castillo, Raul Cruz, Sean O'Grady, Famoso Gomez, and Art Hafey before he even got 
his title shot. In only his 10th fight he was matched with another undefeated K.O 
artist Arturo Pineda (13-0) that drew 10,000 fans, Lopez knocked him out in four 
rounds and the fight was voted fight of the year in Los Angeles. After 4 years 
of learning in fighting the tough L.A scene against Mexican and Mexican American 
boxers of all styles and ability it was time for Lopez to take a step up in 
competition in 1974. It started well enough when Lopez finally went the 10 round 
distance against fringe contender and iron jawed Genzo and followed up that fight
with a  knockout win over Memo Rodriguez who was a tough challenge for any fighter. 
Then in late 1974 and early 1975 disaster struck for Lopez in the ring. He found 
his equal in toughness when he fought legendary Bobby Chacon in a fight of the year 
candidate which saw Lopez knocked out in the 9th round of a grueling fight in front 
of 16,000 fans. Chacon was just a notch above Lopez in terms of strength and it 
showed after Chacon weathered the early storm of Lopez. As the fight wore on Chacon 
countered Lopez solid left hooks that finally wore Lopez down and forced the referee 
to step in. Lopez came back with a easy win over Masano Toyoshima but once again 
lost via a 9th round stoppage when a headbutt caused his fight with Shig Fukuyama 
to be stopped. Lopez took on another tough challenge way too soon not allowing his 
body to heal from the two tough losses and he looked in terrible form against 
Octavio Gomez who out hustled him for a 10 round win. Many gave up on Lopez and 
thought he was just a hard punching kid who would always be just a level below 
championship caliber. Lesser fighters might have given up or not trained to get 
back to a championship level, in 2 years Lopez would become a champion however. 
Now offers started to come for Lopez to fight high level boxers who thought he 
was in decline and wanted a good box office payday. In 1975 former world champions 
Chucho Castillo and Ruben Olivares learned the hard way that Lopez was far from 
finished as he knocked them both out. In both of those fight the two combatants 
were on the canvas.  1976 might have been the best year for Lopez as he started 
it by taking out featherweight prospect and future champion Sean O'Grady before 
defeating world #2 rated Art Hafey in a bout that assured Lopez of a title at 
champion David Kotey.... the problem was that Lopez would have to travel to Africa 
for the title. Taking the title from the champion in Africa back in the 70's was a 
daunting exercise to say the least but by the 12th round of the 15 round title 
fight large portions of the crowd of 90,000 were leaving the stadium sure that 
their man had been beaten. Not even the judges could ignore the beating and total 
domination Lopez showed in the ring that night. The fact that Kotey was able to 
stand up the punches of Lopez for the 15 rounds speaks volumes for his toughness 
and skills. It was a one sided fight from the start as Lopez cut Kotey in the first 
round (it 37 stitches to put Kotey back together) that left Kotey bleeding and 
swallowing blood from his lower lip. The late rounds were especially brutal,in most 
countries the fight would have been stopped. To his credit Kotey just refused to go 
down often holding on to Lopez in order to stay up. Lopez would go on to defend 
the title successfully eight times (5 in his first year as a champion) by knockout, 
against a cast of better than average challengers, before losing to the legendarily 
talented Salvador Sanchez. All of Lopez's title defenses were featured on national 
T.V because of his offensive style. Lopez beat Kotey again on the first Ali vs. 
Spinks fight this time taking the ex-champ out in 6 one sided rounds. In 1978 on 
the Ali vs. Spinks II undercard Lopez had a typical fight for him as he was knocked 
down in the first round and looked ready to go when a single right hand punch laid 
Juan Malvarez out cold. In 1979 Lopez faced Mike Ayala in The Ring magazine fight 
of the year. In Ayala's hometown Lopez fought the wrong fight early and was 
countered by the 21 year old Ayala who was sliding along the ropes. But Lopez got 
his shots in and broke Ayala's nose in the 6th starting to slow him down. In the 
7th and 11th round Lopez had Ayala down but the challenger kept fighting back and 
scoring well. Finally in the 15 round after Lopez had pulled ahead in the fight 
the referee stopped the bout after a big left hook sent Ayala down for the last 
time. His title reign was nearing the end however. The great Salvador Sanchez had 
the perfect style to foil Lopez. Behind a great jab Sanchez used a movement and 
counter punching scheme that left Lopez walking into hard punches throughout their 
two fights. When Lopez did land solid punches which did not happen very often he 
found the chin of Sanchez to be unshakable. Sanchez at 20 years old was thought as 
a huge threat to Lopez since he was not well known outside of Mexico. By the 4th 
round of their first fight Lopez had 3 cuts and his left was beginning to swell 
shut, and it got worse as the rounds progressed. Lopez refused to surrender and 
for 14 rounds tried to connect with one of his big bombs without luck, finally 
the referee rescued the staggering Lopez in the 14th round. In the rematch Lopez 
performed a little bit better but was once again not able to get within punching 
distance of Lopez to connect with any kind of effectiveness. Lopez having many 
tough fights behind him and always training like a mad man decided he did not want 
to venture on the long road he knew would be ahead of him to get another title 
shot and retired. At 28 Lopez was finished as a fighter. Inspired by George 
Foreman Lopez made one comeback fight 12 years later, it ended in predictable 
fashion when he was knocked out in the third round. Lopez now makes his home in 
the Chino Hills area with his wife of 27 years, working in the construction 
business. 


Danny Lopez

Career Record: 42 W, 6 L, (39 K.O's)


     1971

     May 27  Steve Flajole           Los Angeles             KO 1
     Jun 17  Fili Castro             Los Angeles             KO 1
     Jul 9   Mauro Olivares          Los Angeles             KO 1
     Jul 29  Jose Luis Estrada       Los Angeles             KO 2
     Aug 12  Modesto Ortiz           Los Angeles             KO 4
     Sep 16  Rafael Lopez            Los Angeles             KO 5
     Oct 14  Frank Granados          Los Angeles             KO 2
     Nov 18  Marcarito Rios          Los Angeles             KO 1

     1972

     Jan 20  Jose Orantes            Los Angeles             KO 2
     Feb 18  Rafael Lopez            Los Angeles             KO 2
     Mar 10  Arturo Pineda           Los Angeles             KO 4
     May 11  Jose Luis Valdovinos    Los Angeles             KO 4
     Jul 20  Benny Rodriguez         Los Angeles             KO 1
     Jul 28  Yoshinabu Goto          Los Angeles             KO 8
     Oct 19  Jorge Reyes             Los Angeles             KO 7


     1973

     Feb 9   Jorge Carrasco          Los Angeles             KO 1
     Mar 17  Kenji Endo              Los Angeles             KO 2
     May 10  Cesar Ordunez           Los Angeles             KO 4
     Jun 21  Juan Ordonez            Los Angeles             KO 4
     Jul 31  Ushiwakamaru Harada     Honolulu                KO 3
     Sep 27  Goyo Vargas             Los Angeles             KO 1

     1974

     Jan 17  Genzo Kurosaw           Los Angeles             W 10
     Feb 4   Memo Rodriguez          Mexicali, Mexico        KO 10
     May 24  Bobby Chacon            Los Angeles             KO by 9
     Aug 8   Masano Toyoshima        Los Angeles             KO 3
     Sep 9   Shig Fukuyama           Los Angeles             KO by 9

     1975

     Jan 18  Octavio Gomez           Anaheim, CA             L 10
     Apr 24  Chucho Castillo         Los Angeles             KO 2
     Jul 26  Raul Cruz               Los Angeles             KO 6
     Sep 13  Antonio Nava            Los Angeles             KO 6
     Dec 4   Ruben Olivares          Inglewood, CA           KO 7

     1976

     Feb 25  Sean O'Grady            Inglewood, CA           KO 4
     Apr 28  Octavio Gomez           Inglewood, CA           KO 3
     Aug 6   Art Hafey               Inglewood, CA           KO 7
     Nov 5   David Kotey             Accra, Ghana            W 15
             (Wins WBC Featherweight Title)
          
     1977

     Jul 29  Jose Olivares           Sacramento              KO 2
     Aug 28  Jorge Altamirano        Stateline, NV           KO 6
     Sep 13  Jose Torres             Los Angeles             KO 7
             (Retains World Featherweight Title)

     1978

     Feb 15  David Kotey             Las Vegas               KO 6
             (Retains World Featherweight Title)
     Apr 22  Jose DePaula            Los Angeles             KO 6
             (Retains World Featherweight Title)
     Sep 15  Juan Malvarez           New Orelans             KO 2
             (Retains World Featherweight Title)
     Oct 21  Fel Clemente            Pesaro, Italy           WDQ 4
             (Retains World Featherweight Title)

     1979

     Mar 10  Roberto Castanon        Salt Lake City          KO 2
             (Retains World Featherweight Title)
     Jun 17  Mike Ayala              San Antonio             KO 15
             (Retains World Featherweight Title)
     Sep 25  Jose Caba               Los Angeles             KO 3
             (Retains World Featherweight Title)

     1980

     Feb 2   Salvador Sanchez        Phoenix                 KO by 13
             (Loses World Featherweight Title)
     Jun 21  Salvador Sanchez        Las Vegas               KO by 14
             (For World Featherweight Title)

     1992

     Feb 27  Jorge Rodriguez         Irvine, CA              KO by 3