Sammy Vasquez (L) handily took care of business against Jose Lopez (R) on Tuesday. (Photos From Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions)
Sammy Vasquez remains undefeated after stopping Jose Lopez on Tuesday in front of a hometown crowd at the Convocation Center at California State University of Pennsylvania in California, Pennsylvania. The scheduled 10-rounder, part of the Premier Boxing Championship series, was broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
The end of the fight came at one minute and eight seconds into the fifth round, courtesy of a devastating attack of combinations from Vasquez that left Lopez dazed and the referee deeming him unable to continue. Lopez had been down once earlier in the same round.
Vasquez (20-0, 14 KOs) entered the bout a heavy favorite and did not disappoint the many who came to support their native son. Lopez (25-4, 15 KOs) was coming off a five-fight knockout streak and showed up to put up a fight, but Vasquez’s timing, movement, and accuracy were too much for the underdog.
CompuBox had Vasquez landing 124 out of 274 punches thrown (45% accuracy rate), Lopez landed 49 out of 298 (16%).
“He came forward, he was very tough,” Vasquez said after the fight. “He just wanted to punish me but I keyed in on my opportunities and got him out of there.”
Vasquez started the fight by bidding his time, picking his shots, and establishing his southpaw jab. Lopez, working behind a pawing jab, kept a brisker pace and rushed forward attempting to bridge the distance.
Power shots came alive in the second round with Vasquez landing straight lefts, but also paying for them with a left hook from Lopez that got the Iraq war veteran’s attention.
Lopez kept a high work rate throughout the third frame, but cool customer Vasquez was on the move, countering accurately, and beginning to take control.
An increasingly frustrated Lopez stalked and rushed Vasquez for the first half of the fourth installment, before the good Sergeant opened up and unloaded on Lopez. The game Mexican barely survived the round on this feet.
Vasquez came out looking to close out the contest in the fifth round and lit up Lopez with a blistering combination. Lopez hit the mat, but came back for more. Vazquez smelled blood, attacked, and put him down for the last time- – referee Gary Rosato, having seen enough, called an end to the contest.
“I rolled with the punches with him,” said Vasquez. “He was leaving himself wide open. He got tired after he tried to get me on the ropes. Once I popped him with a couple uppercuts and a hook, I knew I hurt him.”
Sammy Vasquez, an 29-year-old welterweight prospect, had last been in action outpointing Wale Omotoso in June and Emmanuel Lartey from Ghana in February. Prior to those fights, Vasquez had kayo’d his last seven opponents.
“Everybody in front of me is on my mind,” said Vasquez regarding who will next for him. “I can only get to the top by beating the people in front of me. I’m not calling out any names, because I want every person ranked in front of me. I want everyone.”
Making his U.S. debut, Jose Lopez, a 24-year-old from Torreon, Mexico, entered Tuesday’s encounter having decisioned Jonathan Duran in May and knocked out Mexican paisanos Ismael Urieta and veteran Carlos Urias before that.
“I wanted to attack the body and put some pressure on him from the first round,” Lopez said. “He moved very well side-to-side. He is a very good boxer. I am very disappointed. I came here to win.”
On the co-main event, amateur standout Milton Santiago (12-0, 3 KOs) celebrated his 19th birthday by shutting out Alvaro Ortiz (7-4, 5 KOs) on the cards over six rounds.
On the undercard, prospect Omar Douglas (15-0, 11 KOs) earned a one-sided decision over a visibly smaller Braulio Santos (12-4, 10 KOs). Santos was dropped twice earlier in the fight, once in the first in the round and again in the second.