Mexican bantamweight Tony Lopez, Jr. (13-3, 4 KOs) believes an impressive victory April 20th over his Roy Jones Jr., Boxing Promotions (RJJ) stablemate, unbeaten bantamweight prospect “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Max Ornelas (10-0-1, 4 KOs), will get him back in the mix.
Ornelas vs. Lopez, Jr., presented RJJ Boxing Promotions, will air live on beIN Sports, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, from Cox Pavilion on the University of Nevada at Las Vegas campus.
The vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) North American Boxing Association (NABA) USA bantamweight title will be on the line in the eight-round main event.
A UNLV sophomore who lives in Las Vegas, the 19-year-old Ornelas is ranked by the World Boxing Association (WBA) at No. 14 in the world. “I’ve had several fights where my role was reversed, and I was fighting in my hometown in front of my fans, friends and family,” Dallas resident Lopez, Jr. spoke about fighting Ornelas on the road. “I wanted to put on a show and they were screaming like crazy before the opening bell. Once the fight started, though, I didn’t see or hear them. It was just me and my opponent. I’ve fought in Las Vegas a few times and I’m comfortable fighting him (Ornelas) there. I understand that this is part of my job, a requirement, regardless of fighting him in his hometown. I like pressure.”
Lopez, Jr. was born in Mexico, but he’s lived nearly his entire life in Texas. His father, Tony Lopez, Sr., was an ex-fighter from Mexico who got his son into boxing when he was six. Now, Lopez, Jr. fights for Roy Jones, Jr.
“It’s surreal,” the rugged southpaw admitted. “I’m fighting for a living legend, arguably one of the greatest boxers of all time. He knows me, he’s seen me fight. It’s an honor to wear his gear, not only as a fan of his, but to represent his company. It’s one of the coolest things in this business.”
Ornelas is also promoted by RJJ Boxing Promotions and they’ve fought together on two RJJ cards. They’re familiar with each other and, if styles truly make great fights, this one could turn out to be an instant classic.
“He’s (Max) a very clean fighter, by the books, not wanting to get into scrapes,” the 24-year-old Lopez spoke about his opponent. “He strides and moves, not looking to bang or exchange. He likes to fight on the outside, using his size and length. He’s fast but doesn’t have a lot of power. It’s hit and not get hit for him. He has a lot of holes and me being the more experienced fighter, I plan to expose some of those holes.
“Back in May of 2016, I fought and undefeated opponent, Jerren Cochran (11-0-1), and I knew it was an audition for Roy and RJJ. I came out in a full attack mode because I wanted to make a statement. ((Lopes knocked our Cochran in the second round.) I’m looking to make another statement this time around by fighting like I did earlier in my career.
“I’m faster, stronger and have better head movement than him. I’m still young but I have more life experience than him (Ornelas). I’m still young, only 24, but I have more experience than him going into this fight. I’ve fought a former world champion (Rico Ramos). I’m part of a new team and my FHG Gloves teammates are John Vera, who just fought for a world title, and Edwin Vasquez. An impressive victory will put me right back in the mix for a big Saturday night fight for an even bigger title.”
Unbeaten World Boxing Council (WBC) United States welterweight champion Jimmy “Quiet Storm” Williams (14-0-1, 5 KOs), a former college football player from New Haven, Connecticut, tangles with Houston’s Marquis Taylor (8-1, 0 KOs) in the eight-round, co-featured event..
Highly-touted Uzbekistan-native Elnur Abduraimov, now fighting out of Las Vegas, will make his professional in a four/six-round bout versus an opponent to be determined, opening the televised segment of the card. Abduraimov won a bronze medalist at the 2015 World Amateur Championships, as well as gold at the 2015 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships.
Australian super welterweight and past world title challenger, Tommy “The Titan” Browne (35-7-2, 13 KOs), faces Carlos Hernandez (15-17, 12 KOs), of Puerto Rico, in an eight-round bout.
2016 World Juniors Championships silver medalist Gabriel Flores, Jr. (6-0, 5 KOs), a 17-year-old sensation from Stockton, CA, squares off against Mexico-native Alejandro Rochin (5-1, 3 KOs), fighting out of Oklahoma City, in a six-round match.
Also scheduled to be in action in six-round fights are Las Vegas super lightweight Kevin Johnson (4-0, 4 KOs) vs. TBA, and undefeated Roy Jones protégé Shady Gamhour (6-0, 5 KOs), a Swedish middleweight now living in Jones’ hometown of Pensacola, FL, will be tested by Mexican Erasmo Garcia (5-2, 3 KOs).
Pro-debuting Las Vegas junior lightweight Jaime Gomez and Ivan Ortiz (1-0-1, 1 KO), of Los Angeles, will clash in a four-rounder.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets are priced at $100.00 Ringside, $40.00 Reserved Seating & $25.00 General Admission, and available to purchase online at http://www.unlvtickets.com/eventInfo/spe/687/ornelas-vs-lopez/Taxes and fees apply to all sold tickets.
Doors open at 5:00 p.m. PT with the opening bout scheduled at 6:00 p.m. PT.