Featherweight prospect Adam Lopez, in his first fight since his loss to Oscar Valdez last year, defeated Louie Coria by majority decision in a close but very entertaining bout on the Jessie Magdaleno-Yenifel Vicente undercard Thursday at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. After 10 rounds, the judges had the fight 96-94, 96-94 and 95-95 in favor of Lopez.
"This was my toughest fight," admitted Lopez (14-2, 6 KOs), who had both eyes bruised and swollen by the end of the night.
Coria (12-3, 7 KOs) jumped out early on Lopez, backing him up, closing distance and letting his hands go. Coria took control in the first two rounds with his aggression and activity. But to the credit of Lopez and his corner, adjustments were made. He started to utilize his sharp left jab and employed adroit movement to offset the methodical pressure of Coria.
Going into the late rounds, Lopez had control. But while he bent, Coria's spirit never broke. Coria turned the tables a bit and started to get to Lopez with both hands -- and the damage was written all over his face.
"He was relentless," Lopez said of his opponent. "I hurt my hand hitting him that many times with my jab. He didn't care when I hit him. I got some good body shots in, I heard the wind come out of him, but he had a lot of heart. He kept coming no matter what, and that's what made it so tough. I was trying to box him, he was trying to fight me. Sometimes I went to his game plan, sometimes he fell into my game plan."
While he was happy with the win, Lopez gave himself a C for this effort. But at the end, Lopez had done just enough in what was a very evenly matched affair.
"I got a lot to work on," he said. "I know I've got a long way to go, but I'm still young, I still only have 16 fights. I'm going to keep working, keep getting better. I want a big name by the end of the year or sometime next year."
Muratalla does quick work of Robles
Preschool teacher Gabriel Muratalla scores first-round TKO
Gabriel Muratalla, who is also a preschool teacher, unleashes a fury of punches on Fernando Robles, leading to a first-round TKO.
It was a short night for Gabriel Muratalla (3-0, 3 KOs) who scored a first-round stoppage of Fernando Robles (2-3). He controlled the bout from the very onset and as he backed up Robles into the corner, he landed a short, chopping right hand that sent Robles to the canvas. Referee Robert Byrd waved off the fight immediately.
"It's wild. It was an experience, and I'm glad I did my thing," Muratalla said of the quick KO. "He was kind of awkward for me. I was trying to hit the body, [but] his hand was there. I'm seeing the highlights, and it looks my punches were kind of ugly, but that right hand did land, so I'm thankful for that."
Outside of boxing, Muratalla is a preschool teacher from Fontana, California.
"I'm going to hear it from their parents," Muratalla said with a laugh. "But I'm sure they're totally acceptable of it."
Mondragon, Sanchez fought to a draw
Mike Sanchez and Eric Mondragon trade knockdowns early
Mike Sanchez sends Eric Mondragon to the mat with a huge punch in the first round, and then Mondragon responds later in the round with a knockdown of his own.
Eric Mandragon and Mike Sanchez had to settle for a majority draw in an entertaining four-round lightweight bout. Things got off to a hot start as both men visited the canvas in the opening round. First it was Mandragon (3-0-1, 2 KOs) who hit the deck after getting hit by a left uppercut. Then he returned the favor later on as he sent Sanchez (6-0-1, 2 KOs) down with a short right hand on the inside.
The rest of the bout was fought on relatively even terms as neither Mandragon or Sanchez could ever really establish full control of the fight. After four rounds, one judge had Mandragon on top 39-37, while the other two had it even at 38-38.