Report from Dog House Boxing
Aside from Hill, Alfonso Lopez may be the brightest prospect in the Houston area. He has it all: fluid boxing technique, excellent defense, conditioning, and most importantly, a willingness to learn, which shows as he shows improvement in every bout.
His match against James Johnson of Louisiana was announced as a title match. The trinket on the line? Something called the NABC championship, surely a belt that was found in a cereal box.
If Johnson 23-32 (18) is a champion, then the situation of the world must be examined. How bad is he? Against Lopez 11-0 (9), there were periods where he didn’t throw punches for minutes. The one punch that he ever threw was the counter left hook, but it was so wide and off the mark his entire body would go off balance after releasing it. Johnson himself knew this, and beginning in the third round, did his best John Ruiz impersonation, as he began to hold constantly, as if the sweat that rolled off Lopez’s body would give him magic powers. In one instance, he went so far as to attempt to throw a knee at Lopez.
That turned Lopez off, and he began to toy with Johnson. It was like watching Muhammad Ali against Floyd Patterson. Lopez stood in front of him, hands down, and pounded him with jabs. He stayed at a distance where Johnson had no chance of hitting him back. Finally, in the fifth round, Lopez closed the show. He trapped Johnson against the ropes and hit him with a countless array of punches, sending Johnson’s body through the second and third ropes. The referee wisely called a halt to the bout twenty-one seconds into the round.