Saturday, December 14, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Lopez outlasts Arnaoutis
By Brian Campbell
As far as get-well fights are concerned, sometimes securing the victory is the only thing that matters.
Having lost three of his previous four fights entering Friday, including his past two by knockout, against Canelo Alvarez and Marcos Maidana, simply returning to the win column was the most important goal for Josesito Lopez.
Unfortunately for "Riverside Rocky," known for his courageous style and upset victory of Victor Ortiz in 2012, he did little more than the bare minimum in scoring a unanimous decision (77-74 twice, 76-75) against fellow welterweight Mike Arnaoutis at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif. ESPN.com scored the bout 76-75 for Lopez.
Lopez (31-6, 19 KOs) looked flat throughout against the journeyman Arnaoutis (24-10-2), who suffered a bad cut above his left eye following an accidental head-butt in Round 8, sending the scheduled 10-round bout to the scorecards.
Despite outlanding Arnaoutis 118 to 91, according to CompuBox, Lopez failed to cut off the ring throughout and was befuddled at times by the rhythm of his southpaw opponent.
Key moment: Arnaoutis, who stole Round 2 on the scorecards by flooring Lopez in the closing seconds with a jab, landed his best punch of the fight -- a hard overhand left -- to stun Lopez midway through Round 8. Unfortunately for the native of Greece, a clash of heads seconds later left his face a bloody mess. Arnaoutis, 34, went on to plead with the ring doctor after the round to stop the fight, claiming he could no longer see due to the cut.
We've got your number: 7. That's the number of losses the former hot prospect Arnaoutis had endured over his previous 10 fights entering Friday, a stretch dating back to 2009.
Last word: Lopez, 29, claimed after the fight that he injured a knuckle on his right hand in Round 2 before later hyperextending the same hand in the next round. Despite the injuries, Lopez's performance lacked the passion and aggression he has become known for. Considering how crowded the cupboard already is for Golden Boy at welterweight, Lopez's failure to shine in a showcase setting downgrades Friday's victory to a push at best.