|Photo Credit: Carlos Baeza / Thompson Boxing Promotions|
In a competitive welterweight bout, contender Josesito Lopez overcame an early knockdown to score a unanimous decision win over veteran Mike Arnaoutis on Friday in Indio, California. The fight was stopped after eight rounds when Arnaoutis suffered an accidental head-butt that produced a nasty cut above his left eye and compromised his vision. The fight went to the scorecards with judges ruling in favor of Lopez, 77-74, 77-74, and 76-75.
Lopez, known for his toughness and his willingness to engage in slugfests, struggled throughout the fight with the southpaw Arnaoutis' lateral movement and accurate counterpunching. In fact, the fight appeared much closer than the two 77-74 scorecards suggested, as each fighter had his moments during the individual rounds.
Arnaoutis appeared poised for an upset after his stiff right jab scored a flash knockdown and sent a surprised Lopez to one knee at the closing seconds of the second round.
"I didn't have my "A" game tonight, but I worked through it and did enough to get a win," said Lopez, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions. "I was able to move well and apply pressure, but I never really settled into a nice pace."
Because Lopez has battled with such heavy-handed fighters as Canelo Alvarez and Marcos Maidana, he was able to withstand the solid shots that Arnaoutis landed. Arnaoutis also perhaps was feeling the effects of jet lag, having reportedly complained about flying into California only three days before the fight.
In the end, the secret to Lopez's success was his determination and aggression, as he continued to throw shots and come forward despite being unable to cut off the ring.
With the victory Lopez improved to 31-6 (18 KOs), while Arnaoutis dropped to 24-10-2 (11 KOs).
By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services