Luis Albert Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez: Expect Friday Fireworks



Luis Albert Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez: Expect Friday Fireworks
Joet and his dog, Lilo, off Joet’s IG (Lilo has one too)

Luis Albert Lopez vs Joet Gonzalez is the main event Friday night, from Top Rank. Going on the road is one of the most challenging tasks for any fighter. However, some fighters thrive under the pressure of a hostile crowd.

For Mexican-born Luis Alberto Lopez, it would appear that he is one of those fighters who turns it on when the crowd turns it up.

He has gained a reputation for being a “road warrior,” but he is getting the chance to fight a bit closer to home, at least compared to his last couple fights in the U.K.

Luis Albert Lopez (28-2, 16KOs) is heading into fight week for his scheduled 12-round title defense against California native Joet Gonzalez, 29, as the headliner for Friday’s TOP RANK BOXING card live on ESPN—both the main channel as well as their streaming platform ESPN+.

Luis Albert Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez On Sept 15, 2023

The IBF featherweight champion, Lopez, 30, will defend his title at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Corpus Christi crowd is a sucker for action-packed competitive fights between fighters with Spanish sir names, and this is an opportunity for both Lopez and Gonzalez to leave a lasting impression in front of an arena full of fight fans and potential return customers.

Luis Albert Lopez is coming off back-to-back wins on the road—first, against then-titlist Josh Warrington in Leeds last December.

Then again this past May in Belfast where he scored a 5th-round TKO over Northern Ireland’s hometown favorite and former Olympian Michael Conlan. Click here to refresh yourself about Lopez-Conlan,

Aside from those career wins, Lopez is riding an 11-fight win streak with eight of those victories ending by stoppage.

Apart from taking Gabriel Flores Jr.’s “0” during that stretch, Lopez also went to York Hall to deliver Issac Lowe his first loss—a win that in retrospect was a foreshadowing of his road warrior tendencies.

Now, the fighter from Mexicali, a city on the Mexico-California border, is being rewarded with the chance to fight in front of an audience thirsty for the kind of action both Lopez and Gonzalez can produce.

Luis Albert Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez

Luis Alberto Lopez bested Conlan. Photo courtesy Top Rank Boxing

Gonzalez (26-3, 15 KOs) is no stranger to headlining and his losses have come at the hands of some of boxing’s best, including going the distance with both Emmanuel Navarrete and Shakur Stevenson at featherweight.

However, at this stage, he is probably best known for not being able to win the big one. He will get another chance at it, but he will have to defy the laws of probability.

In his latest outing, the Los Angeles resident by way of Glendora defeated Enrique Vivas by unanimous decision to get back into the win column following a split-decision loss to Issac Dogboe.

Since suffering his first loss to Stevenson — a loss that snapped his 23-0 run– Gonzalez has traded a loss for a win in his last six outings.

That kind of pattern spells trouble for Gonzalez as he looks to battle Luis Albert Lopez considering he’s coming off a win, especially when you factor in Lopez’s own trends as a win on Friday would mark twelve in a row.

Those are just numbers, though, and they aren’t particularly relevant.

However, the number that does matter somewhat is that of the odds makers who have Luis Albert Lopez a heavy 7 to 1 favorite (you can get Gonzalez for +450 on some books).

Joet Gonzalez (R) fought well against Isaac Dogboe, but not quite well enough. 2022 in Hinckley, Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Joet Gonzalez (R) fought well against Isaac Dogboe, but not quite well enough. 2022 in Hinckley, Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

But the best odds on Friday night will favor that of the fans in attendance and watching at home as the likelihood that Lopez and Gonzalez put on a show is as sure a bet as you’ll find.

It is Lopez’s fight to lose, though Gonzalez has enough ability and experience to put up some resistance, and that’ll be fun.

However, Lopez’s power will be the difference maker as he softens up Gonzalez while eating his best shots and still coming forward.

Prediction For Luis Albert Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez

Supposing Joet doesn't get caught with one of Lopez's patented sellout uppercuts, making for a very early night, we should see some decent exchanges early in the fight.

The Luis Albert Lopez long jab and all-in punching style offer up opportunities for opponents to capitalize, but Gonzalez will have to weather a heavy storm and still have enough in the tank to shift momentum.

Expect Friday night fireworks with a possible Oppenheimer-sized blast for the curtain call.

Broadcast begins at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT on ESPN/ESPN+ with televised prelims exclusively on PLUS.

Tickets for the event are available through Ticketmaster and range between $34-$129. Doors open at 4 p.m. on Friday.

Press Conference: Wednesday, 1 pm CT

Weigh-In: Thursday, 1 pm CT