Danny Lopez (boxer)
Danny Lopez (born July 6, 1952) is the former WBC featherweight champion of the world, and a very popular fighter both in television and Southern California during the 1970s. His nickname was Little Red.
|Real name||Danny Lopez|
|Height||5 ft 8+1⁄2 in (174 cm)|
|Reach||71 in (180 cm)|
|Born||July 6, 1952|
Fort Duchesne, Utah, U.S.
|Wins by KO||39|
Known for his tremendous punching power, The Ring magazine rated Lopez at number 26 on their list of "100 Greatest Punchers". In 2010, Lopez was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Lopez is of Ute Indian, Mexican, and Irish heritage. He had been moved from one foster home to another, and coming off a Ute Indian Reservation in Utah, he finally found a home in Southern California. He is also the brother of welterweight contender Ernie Lopez. He is married to Bonnie Lopez and has three sons, Bronson, Jeremy, and Dylan.
Lopez began boxing professionally on May 27, 1971, knocking out Steve Flajole in one round at Los Angeles. He won his first 21 fights in a row by knockout, in one of the longest knockout win streaks ever. During that streak, all but one of his fights were in Los Angeles, a fact which could be credited for his popularity in the area. The only one of his fights among those 21 fights outside Los Angeles took place in Honolulu, where he beat Ushiwakamaru Harada by a knockout in three.
On January 17, 1974, Genzo Kurosaw became the first person to go the distance with Lopez, Lopez winning by a ten-round decision. His next fight, a month later, in Mexicali, Mexico, was his first fight abroad. He beat Memo Rodriguez by a knockout in nine rounds there.
People in Los Angeles were eager to see Lopez and another up-and-coming Angelino, Bobby Chacon, square off inside a ring. The fight took place on May 24, and Lopez was knocked out in the ninth round in a thrilling fight. In his next fight of note, he lost once again by a knockout in round nine, this time to Shig Furuyama.
After losing to Octavio Gómez to begin 1975, Lopez went into a roll: He began by beating Chucho Castillo by a knockout in two rounds. Two more wins, and he was faced with Rubén Olivares, whom he beat by a knockout in seven rounds, after recovering from a first round knockdown himself.
In 1976, he beat Sean O' Grady by knockout in four, Gómez by knockout in three and Art Hafey by knockout in seven. Finally ranked number one by the WBC, he travelled to Ghana to challenge world Featherweight champion David Kotei in front of an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 Kotei partisans. Lopez became world champion by outpointing Kotei over 15 rounds on November 6. This trip proved to be troublesome for the new champion, however: back in his hotel room, he tried to call his family in the United States to announce the good news, but all communication systems had been cut down in Ghana. Lopez then tried to send them a telegram through the American embassy in Accra, but they too were affected by the system failure and could not get his message through. Lopez's family was finally able to realize that Danny was a world champion when they picked him up at the airport one week later.
Lopez won three fights in 1977, retaining the title once, against José Torres by a knockout in round seven.
He and Kotei had a rematch on February 15 of 1978, as part of the undercard where Leon Spinks dethroned Muhammad Ali of the world Heavyweight title. Lopez knocked Kotei out in round six of their rematch, and then he retained the title against Jose DePaula by knockout in round six, and Juan Malvares (on the undercard where Ali regained the title from Spinks) by knockout in two. On October 21, he had a fight with Fel Clemente, against whom he retained the world title with a four-round disqualification in Italy.
By the end of 1978, there was much talk of a super-fight against world Jr. Featherweight champion Wilfredo Gómez, but the bout never materialized.
His fight on March 10 of 1979 against Spain's Roberto Castanon in Salt Lake City, not only marked the first time he defended his world title in his home-state, but the first time he fought in his home-state as a professional period. He retained the crown with a two-round knockout. Then, on June 17, at San Antonio, Lopez and Mike Ayala fought what boxing book The Ring: Boxing in the 20th Century called one of the best fights of 1979. Lopez retained the title with a 15th-round knockout, but the fight was marred by the finding afterwards that Ayala had been fighting under the influence of drugs. Nevertheless, this did not affect the fight's result, but left many to speculate about how the fight would have ended had Ayala not been drugged during it. Ayala himself admitted to have been, in his own words, loaded on the day of the fight.
Lopez went on to defend the title once more that year, knocking out Jose Caba in three rounds.
Lopez's reign as world champion came to an end on February 2, 1980, at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. He met Salvador Sánchez that day, and he lost by knockout in round 13 in a one-sided affair. A rematch was fought on June 21, in Las Vegas, and that time around, Lopez was knocked out in the 14th round, in a replay of the first fight. He announced his retirement after that fight.
In 1985, he talked about a comeback, but decided to delay until 1992, when he was 40 years old. He lost that bout via TKO.
His record was of 42 wins and 6 losses, with 39 wins by knockout.
Life After BoxingEdit
Lopez has remained active during his latest retirement in the social sphere: He has been the object of various dedications and was active on the autograph signing circuit. He returned to live in Utah full-time after stepping away from the boxing ring for the last time, then moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a construction worker. Today he lives in Chino Hills, California.
Official professional boxing recordEdit
- Inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame – 2005
- Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame – 2010
- Eisele, Andrew (2003). "Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers". About.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
- Bobby Chacon and Danny "Little Red" Lopez Archived December 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Boxers "Little Red" Lopez and Chang Elected to Int'l Boxing Hall of Fame - IBHOF.com Archived 2009-12-13 at the Wayback Machine
- Danny Lopez's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2012-01-17.