Home Boxing News Luis Alberto Lopez gunning for knockout against Joet Gonzalez in second world...

Luis Alberto Lopez gunning for knockout against Joet Gonzalez in second world title defence

Luis Alberto Lopez and Joet Gonzalez. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto ‘El Venado’ Lopez 28-2 (16) is expected a tough fight from former two-time world title challenger Joet Gonzalez 26-3 (15) this Friday night at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, but he won’t be satisfied with anything less than a knockout.

The ESPN televised fight will kick off Mexican Independence Day weekend in what will be the 30-year-old Lopez’s second world title defence.

“I respect him because he has had great fights,” Lopez said of his 29-year-old Mexican-American opponent. “He has done a great job in his career. But you know that when we get in the ring there is no respect.

“I am going to take this belt home for my family and for Mexico… it’s going to be a total war. When there are two hungry Mexicans in the ring, they always go at it with everything. We know that Joet Gonzalez is tough. And my goal, as I’ve said, is to knock him out.”

Gonzalez has come up short in two world title bids, dropping decisions to the formidible duo of Shakur Stevenson 20-0 (10) and Emanuel Navarrete 38-1 (31) in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

“This is my third [world title] opportunity,” Gonzalez said. “I’m truly grateful. I’ve worked really hard every single time. And every time I step into the ring, I give it my all. I’ve got to win… I’m expecting a great fight.

“It’s a big day for Mexico. All I have to do is win and become the new IBF world champion. Plain and simple. I can’t go home empty-handed. I’m bringing that belt back home.”

Following a recent training session, Lopez explained why knocking out Gonzalez is so important to him.

“I’m always working on being a little smarter and on knowing how to do everything in the ring because sometimes we are going to need it. I am always working on improving all aspects.”

“I’m going for the knockout. It’s a personal challenge that I have. Joet Gonzalez has faced great fighters like Shakur Stevenson, Emanuel Navarrete and Isaac Dogboe, and he has never been knocked out. Knocking out a tough fighter like him is a huge goal for me.”

“I know this fight will be difficult. Joet Gonzalez is a fighter who comes forward throwing a lot of punches. But I like to come forward, too. So, we know it’s going to be a real clash.”

“Representing Mexicans on such an important night is a great motivation. And I can’t wait for the fight. We’re ready. We have a plan ready, and we are going to do our job. We are going to put on a great show on September 15.”

In the 10-round junior middleweight co-feature, rising Puerto Rican sensation Xander Zayas 16-0 (10) faces Mexico’s Roberto Valenzuela Jr 21-4 (20). In the six-round lightweight opener, Emiliano Fernando Vargas 6-0 (5) steps up versus Spain’s Alejandro Guardado 5-0 (1).