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Thread: Climate of Hunter: Danny Lopez in Africa

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    Climate of Hunter: Danny Lopez in Africa

    Climate of Hunter: Danny Lopez in Africa
    By Mike Casey from Boxing Scene

    Growing up, I loved Danny ‘Little Red’ Lopez. I loved the way he fought and I loved the way he looked with that tall and rangy frame and that eternal glint in his eye of the natural born hunter. The moustache that later accompanied the famous shock of bushy red hair would perfectly complement the appearance of an old-style gunfighter out of time, blazing a trail with flesh and bone instead of pig iron.

    Danny Lopez shot down plenty of guys in the ring, from fellow prospects in the early days to bullish and fearless young challengers who came to dethrone the tall and laconic world champion that Lopez became in his wildly exciting prime. What made those showdowns so thrilling was that Danny was in no way the untouchable Western hero of movie folklore. He was a carefree Doc Holliday who would take a bullet or two himself and sometimes hit the barn door before the man.

    Back in 1974, I recall the agonising wait here in England for the result of the dream match at the LA Sports Arena between Danny and the brilliant young Bobby Chacon. It was a hugely anticipated shootout between the featherweight young guns of the West Coast. While Lopez had been born at Fort Duchesne in Utah, he had based himself in the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra. Chacon hailed from Pomona. I was a fan of both fighters, but Danny was my favourite.

    In the comparatively dark and information-starved age of the seventies, boxing results could take longer to cross the ocean than migrating birds. Then I saw it in the paper. Chacon had stopped Lopez in the ninth round. Boxing was already taking a back seat to other sports and that was all the detail I got. No report, no explanation. It was tough going back in those pre-Internet days. I am reminded of the old anachronistic joke where two prehistoric cavemen trudge for days in search of food. One turns to the other and says, “I wish some clever bastard would hurry up and invent the wheel.”

    How I wished I had been among the throng of 16,027 that sat enthralled at the Sports Arena. Lopez and Chacon were little men but mighty big ticket sellers. A further 2,671 closed circuit TV fans were in attendance at the Olympic Auditorium just a few blocks away.

    The reports in the trade magazines didn’t make pleasant reading for a Lopez rooter. Danny was already a wonderful battler at that stage in his development, but the fast and dangerous Chacon was better. The best punches that Lopez could offer failed to deter Bobby or check his impressive advance. Danny kept pressing but kept eating Bobby’s stiff jabs and right crosses at the same time. The crisp and sharp blows opened a slit over Lopez’s right eye in the second round, which required the constant attention of his handlers thereafter. Chacon really was a very special talent at that age, and I have always wondered how much greater he could have been if his stop-start career had not been plagued and pulled apart by his inner demons.

    Bobby controlled the fight all the way and had the look of a very confident fighter as he bounded from his corner at the start of the ninth round. He met Danny in the centre of the ring and sent him to the ropes with a heavy right. Lopez was clearly in trouble and Chacon was on him in a flash, driving in two more rights and a left that sent Danny tumbling onto the bottom strand of the ropes. Another series of punches sprung the Alhambra youngster from his temporary trap and deposited him on the canvas.

    The one lesson Danny Lopez taught us in this fight was that he was never dead in his own mind. Always he got up. Always he fought back. He rose to fight back against Chacon, but a fusillade of blows sent Danny reeling and propelled him into the ropes on the opposite side of the ring. Referee John Thomas had seen enough and halted the contest.

    Lopez had lost for the first time in 24 fights and was typically forthright in defeat. “He was tough inside,” he said of Chacon, “a lot better than I thought he was. He didn’t hurt me until he dropped me. Then he hurt me pretty good.”

    Danny was just twenty-one and had yet to reach maturity. He was under the featherweight limit at 123 1/2lbs and knew the problem. “I didn’t come in heavy enough. He was just a little bit too strong.”

    Honest words from the man who would be king just two years later.

    Midnight

    It was past midnight at the Accra Sports Stadium in Ghana, yet the temperature was still well into the eighties. A pulsating record crowd of more than 100,000 people only served to stoke the shimmering furnace. Tribal drums boomed and the people cheered as they awaited the arrival of their hero, WBC featherweight champion David ‘Poison’ Kotei.

    To step into that kind of cauldron and challenge such an immensely popular champion must send a shiver down the spine of the bravest man, even though most boxers feel obliged to deny any feelings of fear and intimidation.

    Yet if there was fear in the heart of Danny Lopez in that heady atmosphere, then it did not reflect in his performance. The twenty-four year old challenger had waged most of his battles in his hometown of Los Angeles, and it was a long flight and something like eight inoculations from Los Angeles to Ghana.

    But Lopez was one of those exceptional men who could win wherever the plane set him down. He possessed that special brand of fighting spirit that sometimes drives a man beyond the boundaries of common sense and safety. You could cut Danny, you could outbox and maybe even outpunch him, but you couldn’t destroy his will to win.

    Against Kotei, Lopez was a revelation, a tireless puncher who shut his ears to the partisan crowd and pounded his way to the greatest victory of his career. It was hard to believe he was a man in a foreign land, a man deprived of the invaluable presence of his trainer, mentor and friend, the 72-year old fox Howie Steindler.

    Howie’s age and health prevented him from making the trip, and the absence of such a wise old general might have had a telling effect on any other young fighter. Not Lopez.
    I was approaching manhood when Danny was carving a big name for himself on the West Coast of America. For many years, there was a section in The Ring magazine titled, ‘In Sunny California’, which I would scan religiously in the early seventies for reports on Danny’s fights.

    A big puncher, Lopez was also easy to hit, and so many of his fights seemed to be the see-saw, drama-laden slugfests that appeal to a thrill- seeking youngster. His background was no less colourful. For the first eight years of his life, Danny was raised on an Indian reservation in the north-eastern region of Utah. Then his parents broke up and he and his elder brother Ernie, who was to become a top class welterweight, went their separate ways: Ernie to a boys ranch and Danny to adoptive parents.

    The youngsters kept in touch, and when Ernie started campaigning as a professional in California, Danny decided that he too would be a boxer.

    The strong right hand that was to account for so many opponents in years to come rapidly attracted attention as the younger Lopez won a number of Utah amateur titles. Then he joined brother Ernie in Los Angeles under the astute tutelage of Howie Steindler. Ernie ‘Red’ Lopez would fall just short of world championship glory. Danny ‘Little Red’ Lopez would go all the way.

    Danny’s name quickly became synonymous with the Southern California fight scene. He began his career in dynamic fashion as he racked up three successive first round victories and won his next 18 fights by knockout or stoppage. Japan’s Genzo Kuresawa became the first man to take him the distance in early 1974.

    Some of Danny’s early bouts were fiercely contested, and his 1972 win over the fiery Arturo Pineda was characteristically violent and short-lived. The battle between the undefeated prospects filled the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, and featured three rounds of exciting slugging before Lopez struck with the decisive punches in the fourth to register a dramatic victory.

    A year later, Danny was involved in a similar brawl of rapidly changing fortunes against Japan’s Kenji Endo. Floored and shaken by a hard right from Endo in the opening round, Lopez rallied from near disaster to deck his opponent just before the bell. In the second round, Danny continued to demonstrate his excellent recuperative powers by scoring a further three knockdowns to notch another epic win. As he moved up in class, Lopez learned the age-old lesson that higher calibre opponents cannot always be despatched in such quick and spectacular fashion. His points win over Genzo Kuresawa and a subsequent tenth round TKO of Memo Rodriguez marked the beginning of a tough 1974 campaign, which saw his world title aspirations severely dented by the defeat to Bobby Chacon.

    Danny’s career seemed to waver uncertainly after that setback, and his hopes of rebounding up the rankings were further damaged by two more frustrating defeats. He knocked out Masao Toyoshima in three rounds but then experienced a cruel stroke of luck in a gruelling fight with the rugged Japanese battler, Shig Fukuyama. Danny was stopped in the ninth round after being temporarily blinded by medication that had been applied to an eye cut.

    Lopez then dropped a points decision to the skilful and underrated veteran, Octavio ‘Famoso’ Gomez, but the positive aspect of these reverses was that they probably taught Danny more about the tough trade of fighting than most of his earlier triumphs.

    He kept plugging away and was soon rolling again. Stoppage victories over former world bantamweight champion, Jesus ‘Chucho’ Castillo and Antonio Nava, followed by a sixth round knockout of Raul Cruz, were rewarded by a golden match with the great Ruben Olivares for the North American title in December 1975. The fading but still dangerous Olivares was looking to maintain his status as a serious contender, having lost his WBC championship to David Kotei just three months before.

    Lopez idolised the legendary Mexican but was no less destructive as he knocked out Ruben in seven rounds. It was an important victory for Danny, one that confirmed beyond doubt that his career was truly back on course.

    It wasn’t all plain sailing. It never was with Lopez. Olivares was a 10 to 8 favourite and started with a rush as he decked Danny in the opening round, in what many believed was a slip. Lopez blazed straight back and sent Ruben tumbling just 30 seconds later with a short right. Danny kept firing and knocked Olivares down for the second time with a left hook.

    The Lopez bombardment continued in the second round, when Ruben was caught by a combination of lefts and rights and hit the canvas for the third time. But the old champion could still put on a show and he surged back into the fight in the third, scoring with classy combinations to open a two-inch cut over Danny’s right eye.

    Lopez, however, in his own cliff-hanging way, controlled the fight. A big right to the chin unhinged Olivares for keeps in the seventh round, referee Dick Young counting out Ruben at the 1.59 seconds mark.

    “Ruben was my hero when I was an amateur,” Danny later said. “Beating him has to make a fellow feel like he had defeated Muhammad Ali. But I am sure Ruben wasn’t what he once was. I have to admit I didn’t beat Olivares at his peak.”

    Unbeaten

    In his next bout against the young and unbeaten Sean O’Grady, it was Danny’s turn to play the role of the experienced campaigner against the rising star. Lopez proved far too hard punching and resourceful for O’Grady, recording a fourth round win at the Inglewood Forum.

    Lopez was edging nearer a world championship confrontation with Kotei. Danny’s vast improvement was evident in his revenge win over Octavio Gomez in April 1976.

    Defending his North American crown, Lopez needed just three rounds to dispose of Gomez, an exceptional result that earned ‘Little Red’ a match with the chunky Canadian slugger, Art Hafey, in an official eliminator for the WBC title.

    Hafey was one of a group of colourful featherweights who added excitement to the West Coast scene of the seventies, but Lopez confirmed he was the best of them all as he produced another sparkling display of power punching to stop Art in seven rounds. It was Danny’s 31st win in 34 fights and the interest he had generated since turning professional had made him one of the sport’s most colourful and popular fighters.

    By contrast, David Kotei was still something of a mystery man, despite his fabulous victory over Olivares. To all but the most studious of boxing fans, the Ghanaian had seemingly come out of nowhere to jump to the top of the division.

    He had been unranked in some quarters when matched with Olivares, yet Kotei had travelled to the great man’s favourite hunting ground of Los Angeles and shown himself himself to be a strong, skilful and resilient fighter in scoring an upset points decision.

    Earlier in his career, David had not been overly impressive in winning five and losing two of seven fights in Australia, but he had also shown tantalising glimpses of his potential. He knocked out the hard punching Tunisian Tahar Ben Hassan in one round to win the All-African featherweight title, and took the Commonwealth crown from the tough and durable Scotsman, Evan Armstrong, on a tenth round retirement.

    The late Danny Vary, who worked Armstrong’s corner for the fight, threw considerable light on Kotei’s talent, describing the young prospect as one of the best featherweights he had ever seen.

    Kotei subsequently proved that he was also good enough to hold on to the world title. After dethroning Olivares, David twice successfully defended the championship before taking on Lopez. Kotei displayed an effective jab and threw damaging hooks and uppercuts to stop Japan’s Flipper Uehara in twelve rounds in Accra, and then halted Shig Fukuyama in three rounds in Tokyo.

    Although the Lopez camp was confident of victory against Kotei, it was the defending champion who started favourite when the two fighters stepped into the ring on the night of November 6, 1976. Any champion is tougher to beat when he is fighting on home territory and Kotei appeared to be just reaching his peak at the age of twenty-five.

    Even though Lopez seemed to relish fighting under pressure, it was generally believed that he faced too tough a task on this occasion; and so it seemed as the first bell brought Kotei from his corner in express fashion.

    Firing accurate punches from both hands, he surprised Lopez with the suddenness of his attack, and Danny looked shaken as the champion’s bows rifled through his guard. Lopez tried to rally and scored with several good blows, but he couldn’t seem to avoid Kotei’s stinging jab and solid rights.

    Kotei seemed intent on scoring a quick victory and continued to gamble his energy in the second and third rounds as he maintained a fast pace and punished Danny with hurtful jabs and right crosses. Lopez, never a fast starter, was still trying to settle and seek a way past David’s jab. But the challenger’s progress was thwarted by stiff counter punches whenever he moved into range.

    The puzzle was set for Danny and he could only charge on and try to smash down the barricades. It was his style to go forward, whatever the consequences. He began to enjoy some success in the fourth round as he bravely walked through Kotei’s punches to score with his own lefts and rights.

    But the strong champion continued to dominate the battle and Lopez was struck by some fierce punches as he gamely tried to turn the tide. A left hook opened a cut below Danny’s left eye and his chances of victory already seemed to be receding.

    In fact Lopez was in his element. One could almost see him reaching for a can of spinach, like a desperate Popeye tied to the rail track. The muscles flexed and the punches came faster with added steel as Danny dug in and gradually battered his way back into the fight. Walking through the stiff, spearing jabs of Kotei, Lopez forced the champion to retreat in the fifth round as the balance of power began to subtly shift.

    The sixth round was savagely fought as Lopez braced himself, bulled his way through Kotei’s pounding jabs and engaged the champion in a torrid slugging exchange. The drama heightened when a ferocious right hand shot from Danny opened a cut on David’s right eyebrow.

    Lopez erupted again in the eighth round, winging punches at Kotei, while the ninth was another glorious showcase of both men’s courage as they ignored the blood that ran freely from their cuts and stood their ground to deliver vicious combinations.

    Both men were concentrating their punches to the head as they sought the decisive blows that would free them from the furnace into which they had hurled themselves.

    Maintaining his relentless pursuit of Kotei, Lopez was again caught by solid blows in the tenth round. But he kept hammering away with his own punches, trying all the time to trap the champion. Referee Harry Gibbs cautioned Danny for careless headwork, as Gibbs had done twice before in the earlier rounds, but in the main the slugfest was cleanly fought, for all the blood and ferocity it exuded.

    Stormy

    Kotei was now going through a stormy phase and his task was further handicapped when one of Danny’s punches split the champion’s lip. David looked groggy in the eleventh round as he slipped to the canvas, and Lopez now appeared to be in definite command as he kept up his pursuit of his wounded prey.

    Gamely, Kotei tried to match punches with Lopez in the twelfth, but the challenger possessed the greater strength and won another important round. Kotei was now desperately tired and Lopez swarmed into him in the thirteenth round, hustling and punching all the time and winning the session handily. Every round was packed with incident and suspense and now even the minute intervals had their share of excitement.

    At the end of the thirteenth, referee Gibbs asked the ringside doctor to inspect Kotei’s cuts, and after a few tense moments the doctor ruled that David was fit to box on. Then the interval was prolonged when the Lopez camp noticed a split in Kotei’s right glove, and new gloves had to be laced on the champion. The extra time might have helped Kotei had he not already expended so much energy, but he still looked desperately weary and badly beaten as he came out for the fourteenth round.

    He showed immense heart in carrying the fight to Lopez, but now the wavering champion’s punches lacked their former speed and power. Free of the heavy pressure he had been subjected to in the earlier rounds, Danny was now able to place his blows more accurately. He repeatedly jarred Kotei with precise counter punches as the champion struggled to remain upright.

    David walked slowly and painfully back to his corner at the end of the round and one wondered how he could possibly endure the final three minutes. Yet that certain feeling of pride and glory that comes from being a world champion can lift the spirits of even the most tired and battered of men.

    Kotei launched a final flurry in the fifteenth, one last hurrah as his crown slipped from his head. It spoke volumes for his fortitude that he was still willing to trade punches with a man who specialised in toe-to-toe warfare. But the champion’s final fling could not match the power of Danny’s grandstand drive to the finish line. There were moments in those last minutes of battle when Kotei looked set to crumble in the face of the Lopez offensive, but the plucky champion survived to hear the final bell.

    The decision for Lopez was unanimous and the stunned thousands in the Accra Sports Stadium were downcast over the sad fall of their hero. But Africa is a warrior nation and the new chieftain was saluted accordingly.

    The cheers that rang out for Danny Lopez were a mass salute to a young man who had travelled so far and battled so hard to realise his dream; and to an incredible fight in which two men of abundant courage had added another memorable page to the glittering history of the featherweight division.

    Mike Casey is a boxing journalist and historian and a staff writer with Boxing Scene. He is a member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) and founder and editor of the Grand Slam Premium Boxing Service for historians and fans (www.grandslampage.net).

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    Re: Climate of Hunter: Danny Lopez in Africa

    Cyber Boxing Champion
    Danny "Little Red" Lopez

    Born: July 6, 1952 Fort Duchesne, UT
    Pro Record: 42-6 (39 kayos)

    1971
    May 27 Steve Flajole Los Angeles KO 1
    Jun 17 Fili Castro Los Angeles KO 1
    Jul 9 Mauro Olivares Los Angeles KO 1
    Jul 29 Jose Luis Estrada Los Angeles KO 2
    Aug 12 Modesto Ortiz Los Angeles KO 4
    Sep 16 Rafael Lopez Los Angeles KO 5
    Oct 14 Frank Granados Los Angeles KO 2
    Nov 18 Marcarito Rios Los Angeles KO 1
    1972
    Jan 20 Jose Orantes Los Angeles KO 2
    Feb 18 Rafael Lopez Los Angeles KO 2
    Mar 10 Arturo Pineda Los Angeles KO 4
    May 11 Jose Luis Valdovinos Los Angeles KO 4
    Jul 20 Benny Rodriguez Los Angeles KO 1
    Jul 28 Yoshinabu Goto Los Angeles KO 8
    Oct 19 Jorge Reyes Los Angeles KO 7

    1973
    Feb 9 Jorge Carrasco Los Angeles KO 1
    Mar 17 Kenji Endo Los Angeles KO 2
    May 10 Cesar Ordunez Los Angeles KO 4
    Jun 21 Juan Ordonez Los Angeles KO 4
    Jul 31 Ushiwakamaru Harada Honolulu KO 3
    Sep 27 Goyo Vargas Los Angeles KO 1

    1974
    Jan 17 Genzo Kurosaw Los Angeles W 10
    Feb 4 Memo Rodriguez Mexicali, Mexico KO 10
    May 24 Bobby Chacon Los Angeles KO by 9
    Aug 8 Masano Toyoshima Los Angeles KO 3
    Sep 9 Shig Fukuyama Los Angeles KO by 9
    1975
    Jan 18 Octavio Gomez Anaheim, CA L 10
    Apr 24 Chucho Castillo Los Angeles KO 2
    Jul 26 Raul Cruz Los Angeles KO 6
    Sep 13 Antonio Nava Los Angeles KO 6
    Dec 4 Ruben Olivares Inglewood, CA KO 7

    1976
    Feb 25 Sean O'Grady Inglewood, CA KO 4
    Apr 28 Octavio Gomez Inglewood, CA KO 3
    Aug 6 Art Hafey Inglewood, CA KO 7
    Nov 5 David Kotey Accra, Ghana W 15
    (Wins WBC Featherweight Title)
    Gains World Title After Arguello Moves Up to Jr. Lightweight

    1977
    Jul 29 Jose Olivares Sacramento KO 2
    Aug 28 Jorge Altamirano Stateline, NV KO 6
    Sep 13 Jose Torres Los Angeles KO 7
    (Retains World Featherweight Title)

    1978
    Feb 15 David Kotey Las Vegas KO 6
    (Retains World Featherweight Title)
    Apr 22 Jose DePaula Los Angeles KO 6
    (Retains World Featherweight Title)
    Sep 15 Juan Malvarez New Orelans KO 2
    (Retains World Featherweight Title)
    Oct 21 Fel Clemente Pesaro, Italy WDQ 4
    (Retains World Featherweight Title)

    1979
    Mar 10 Roberto Castanon Salt Lake City KO 2
    (Retains World Featherweight Title)
    Jun 17 Mike Ayala San Antonio KO 15
    (Retains World Featherweight Title)
    Sep 25 Jose Caba Los Angeles KO 3
    (Retains World Featherweight Title)

    1980
    Feb 2 Salvador Sanchez Phoenix KO by 13
    (Loses World Featherweight Title)
    Jun 21 Salvador Sanchez Las Vegas KO by 14
    (For World Featherweight Title)

    1980-1991
    Did not fight

    1992
    Feb 27 Jorge Rodriguez Irvine, CA KO by 3

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    Re: Climate of Hunter: Danny Lopez in Africa

    Mike

    Great read like alway, only one thing, Bobby Chacon was not from Pomona

    he was out of the San Fernando valley.

    Frank

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    Re: Climate of Hunter: Danny Lopez in Africa

    I don't know how the format will turn out, but below is the record that I compiled of Lopez.


    Danny Lopez
    “Little Red”
    Born: July 6, 1952 Fort Duchesne, UT
    Ht: 5’ 8”
    Wt: 120-128
    Reach:
    Stance: Orthodox
    Managed by Howie Steindler (1971-1977) Benny Georgino (1977-1980)

    TB 48
    42-6-0 (39 KO)

    1971
    May 27 Steve Flajole 0-0-1 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA W KO 1 --
    Jun 17 Felix Castro 1-0-1 (1 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:42) W KO 1 LAT
    Jul 9 Mauro Olivares 0-3-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W KO 1 --
    Jul 29 Jose Luis Estrada 0-2-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W KO 2 --
    Aug 12 Modesto Ortiz 0-1-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W KO 3 --
    Sep 16 Rafael Lopez 1-4-1 (1 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 5 TVN
    Oct 14 Francisco “Frank” Granados 3-5-1 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:58) W KO 2 LAT
    Nov 18 Marcarito Rios 0-0-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:59) W KO 1 LAT

    1972
    Jan 20 Jose Orantes 7-11-5 (1 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W KO 2 --
    Feb 18 Rafael “Polo” Lopez 1-5-2 (1 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Sports Arena) (1:43) W KO 2 LAT
    Mar 10 Arturo Pineda 13-0-0 (11 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W KO 4 LAT
    May 11 Jose Luis Valdovinos 39-3-1 (16 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 4 LAT
    Jul 20 Benny Rodriguez 13-0-0 (9 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (2:25) W KO 1 LAT
    Jul 28 Yoshinabu Goto 1-6-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 8 LAT
    Oct 19 Jorge Reyes 3-6-0 (2 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:25) W KO 7 LAT

    1973
    Feb 8 Jorge Carrasco 24-4-0 (16 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (2:24) W KO 1 LAT
    Mar 17 Kenji “Ace” Endo 0-5-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Sports Arena) (1:26) W KO 2 LAT
    May 10 Cesar Ordunez 23-4-0 (-- KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 6 LAT
    Jun 21 Juan Ordonez 2-1-1 (1 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:44) W TKO 4 LAT
    Jul 31 Ushiwakamaru Harada 30-15-11 (13 KO) Honolulu, HI W TKO 3 --
    Sep 27 Goyo Vargas 23-6-0 (16 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (2:59) W KO 1 LAT

    1974
    Jan 17 Genzo Kurosaw 23-18-6 (8 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W PTS 10 LAT
    Feb 4 Memo Rodriguez 2-4-1 (1 KO) Mexicali, Mexico W TKO 10 LAT
    May 24 Bobby Chacon 23-1-0 (21 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Sports Arena) (0:48) L TKO 9 LAT
    Aug 8 Masano Toyoshima 22-5-1 (19 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (2:59) W KO 3 LAT
    Sep 19 Shig Fukuyama 23-10-3 (16 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) L TKO 9 LAT

    1975
    Jan 18 Octavio Gomez 45-13-5 (29 KO) Anaheim, CA (Convention Center) L PTS 10 LAT
    Apr 24 Chucho Castillo 46-16-2 (22 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (3:00) W TKO 2 LAT
    Jul 26 Raul Cruz 17-14-2 (11 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (0:30) W KO 6 LAT
    Sep 13 Antonio Nava 21-4-1 (-- KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (2:09) W TKO 6 LAT
    Dec 4 Ruben Olivares 79-6-1 (71 KO) Inglewood, CA (Great Western Forum) (1:59) W KO 7 LAT

    1976
    Feb 25 Sean O'Grady 29-0-0 (25 KO) Inglewood, CA (Great Western Forum) W TKO 4 LAT
    --Pat O’Grady stopped the bout between the fourth and fifth round.
    Apr 28 Octavio Gomez 50-15-5 (30 KO) Inglewood, CA (Great Western Forum) (1:15) W KO 3 LAT
    Aug 6 Art Hafey 53-6-4 (33 KO) Inglewood, CA (Great Western Forum) (0:56) W TKO 7 LAT
    Nov 5 David Kotey 33-2-1 (20 KO) Accra, Ghana (Sports Stadium) W PTS 15 LAT
    --Wins WBC Featherweight Title.

    1977
    Jul 29 Jose Olivares 8-14-2 (1 KO) San Diego, CA (San Diego Coliseum) (1:22) W KO 2 LAT
    Aug 28 Jorge Altamirano 1-5-0 (1 KO) Stateline, NV (High Sierra Theater) (3:00) W KO 6 LAT
    Sep 13 Jose Torres 26-5-1 (24 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 7 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title.

    1978
    Feb 15 David Kotey 37-3-1 (22 KO) Las Vegas, NV (Hilton Hotel & Casino) (1:18) W TKO 6 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title.
    Apr 22 Jose DePaula 27-2-2 (7 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:30) W TKO 6 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title.
    Sep 15 Juan Malvarez 43-7-6 (-- KO) New Orleans, LA (Superdome) (0:55) W KO 2 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title.
    Oct 21 Fel Clemente 11-7-1 (-- KO) Pesaro, Italy (Arena) (2:15) W DQ 4 --
    --Retains World Featherweight Title.

    1979
    Mar 10 Roberto Castanon 30-0-0 (20 KO) Salt Lake City, UT (Salt Palace) W KO 2 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title.
    Jun 17 Mike Ayala 22-1-0 (-- KO) San Antonio, TX (Auditorium) (1:09) W KO 15 --
    --Retains World Featherweight Title.
    Sep 25 Jose Caba 11-1-0 (-- KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:41) W TKO 3 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title.

    1980
    Feb 2 Salvador Sanchez 33-1-1 (-- KO) Phoenix, AZ (Memorial Coliseum) (0:51) L TKO 13 --
    --World Featherweight Title.
    Jun 21 Salvador Sanchez 35-1-1 (-- KO) Las Vegas, NV (Caesar’s Palace) (1:42) L TKO 14 LAT
    --For World Featherweight Title.

    1992
    Feb 27 Jorge Rodriguez 10-24-2 (-- KO) Irvine, CA (0:37) L KO 3 --



    Notes

    Lopez reportedly had 30 amateur bouts.

    1971
    May 27 Steve Flajole 0-0-1 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA W KO 1
    --Pro Debut for Lopez.
    Jun 17 Felix Castro 1-0-1 (1 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:42) W KO 1 LAT
    --L-119 ½, C-119
    Jul 9 Mauro Olivares 0-3-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W KO 1 --
    Jul 29 Jose Luis Estrada 0-2-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W KO 2 --
    --Lopez is decked in the 1st, but rises to send Estrada to the canvas four times.
    Aug 12 Modesto Ortiz 0-1-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W KO 3 --
    --Lopez-120, Ortiz-117 ½. Some sources list “KO 4.”
    Sep 16 Rafael Lopez 1-4-1 (1 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 5 TVN
    --Scheduled to be shown on television. "Little Red" is decked in the 1st round.
    Oct 14 Francisco “Frank” Granados 3-5-1 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:58) W KO 2 LAT
    --L-118, G-117.
    Nov 18 Marcarito Rios 0-0-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:59) W KO 1 LAT
    --Att: (3000 est). L-126, R-130.

    1972
    Jan 20 Jose Orantes 7-11-5 (1 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W KO 2 --
    --Scheduled to be shown on television.
    Feb 18 Rafael “Polo” Lopez 1-5-2 (1 KO) Los Angeles, CA (L.A. Sports Arena) (1:43) W KO 2 LAT
    --D. Lopez-123, R. Lopez-126. Gate: $171,816. Promoter: Aileen Eaton. A short left hook ended the bout.
    Mar 10 Arturo Pineda 13-0-0 (11 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W KO 4 LAT
    --L-121 ½, P-124 ¾. Att: 10,438, Gross:--Scheduled to be shown on television. Pineda was a 10-8 favorite going in. Lopez earned $21,500. Gross: $94,000.
    May 11 Jose Luis Valdovinos 39-3-1 (16 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 4 LAT
    --L-122, V-122. Newspaper articles states that Valdovinos has 32 more bouts than Lopez and was listed at 39-3-1 (16 KO) going into the bout. Non-televised bout. Valdovinos did not come out for the 5th round. Valdovinos was floored twice in the second and then again in the fourth. His eye was swollen tightly shut and his manager Harry Kabakoff signaled that his charge had had enough.
    Jul 20 Benny Rodriguez 13-0-0 (9 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (2:25) W KO 1 LAT
    --Att: 10,304; the second sell-out in three fights for Lopez. L-122 ½, R-121. Lopez was a 7-5 favorite going in. Rodriguez was down three times. Referee, Lee Grossman took one look at Rodriguez and realized that there was no need to count. This time it was Danny’s right that did the job. Non-televised bout.
    Jul 28 Yoshinabu Goto 1-6-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 8 LAT
    --L-121 ¼, G-122 ¼. Att: 9,664 (Sell-out). Manager Howie Steindler was doing a favor for promoter Aileen Eaton by allowing Lopez to fight in place of Pedro Lovell, who canceled his bout which was to be in honor of Aileen Eaton’s 30th anniversary as a promoter. Lopez took more punches in this bout than in any previous fight before. Referee: George Latka.
    Oct 19 Jorge Reyes 3-6-0 (2 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:25) W KO 7 LAT
    --L-121, R-121 ½. Att: (5,000 est). A left-right combination in the seventh sent Reyes crumbling and it was the beginning of the end as a left hook a few seconds later dropped him again and referee George Latka stopped the fight. Reyes reportedly had 37 career bouts prior to the fight. Non-televised bout.

    1973
    Feb 8 Jorge Carrasco 24-4-0 (16 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (2:24) W KO 1 LAT
    --L-121, C-123. Carrasco is reported to be 24-3-0 (16 KO) going into the bout with 9 first round knockouts. A right followed by a left hook put Carrasco down and out cold. Att: 5,000+ (est)
    Mar 17 Kenji “Ace” Endo 0-5-0 (0 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Sports Arena) (1:26) W KO 2 LAT
    -- Lopez-122, Endo-123. Lopez is sent to the canvas in the 1st round from a hard overhand right by Endo. Lopez appeared to be almost out, but he suddenly threw a short right uppercut that caught Endo flush on the chin and down he went. In the second round Lopez put Endo down three times the last of which was from a jolting right hand after which referee Richard Steele called a halt to the bout. Lopez was almost floored on two other occasions as he showed a weakness for an overhand right. It was one of the more exciting bouts of 1973. The bout was televised on March 22.
    May 10 Cesar Ordunez 23-4-0 (-- KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 6 LAT
    --L-122, O-122 ½. Ordunez reportedly had a record of 23-4 coming into the bout. Televised bout. Att: 4,500. Ordunez was unable to come out for the seventh round. Both of Ordunez’ eyes were bleeding profusely and he had taken a pretty bad beating when his corner decided that he had had enough. Lopez scored often with combinations of lefts and rights which were often countered with overhand rights by Ordunez, but Lopez just took it and went back to his two-fisted attack. Referee Larry Rozadilla. Judges: Richard Steele and Eddie Fierro.
    Jun 21 Juan Ordonez 2-1-1 (1 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:44) W TKO 4 LAT
    --Lopez-122, Ordonez-121. Gross: $10,100. The bout was on local T.V. Ordonez reportedly was a veteran of 24 career bouts. Lopez floored Ordonez in every round the last of which was for keep from a left hook to the chin. Ordonez had his moments in the bout mainly having success with overhand rights, which is a punch that Lopez has a lot of difficulty with., but Lopez walked through everything Ordonez had to offer. Referee Rudy Jordan stood over the fallen Ordonez, but stopped the count before ten, not that it really mattered one way, or another, Lopez was just too much for the Mexican. Att: 3,817.
    Jul 31 Ushiwakamaru Harada 30-15-11 (13 KO) Honolulu, HI W TKO 3 --
    --Lopez-123 ½, Harada-124 ¾. Att: 5500.
    Sep 27 Goyo Vargas 23-6-0 (16 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (2:59) W KO 1 LAT
    --Lopez-123 ¾, Vargas-124 ½. Att: 4650. Vargas reportedly had a record of 23-6-0 (16 KO) coming into the bout never had a chance as the first punch Lopez landed, a looping right to the mouth, put Vargas in full retreat mode. Vargas landed only one solid punch to Lopez’ chin, but it just made Lopez even more aggressive than before. Near the end of round one Lopez landed a volley of punches that forced Vargas to the ropes, and a solid right to the chin dropped Vargas in his corner. Vargas’ head bounced off the bottom rope, which could have ended in a severe injury and referee Larry Rozadilla took one look at the stricken fighter and did not bother to count. After a minute, or so the groggy Vargas was able to regain his feet.. Televised bout.

    1974
    Jan 17 Genzo Kurosaw 23-18-6 (8 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W PTS 10 LAT
    --Referee: John Thomas. Lopez-124 ½, Kurosaw-125. Gross: $11,808, Lopez share $4000. Televised bout.
    Feb 4 Memo Rodriguez 2-4-1 (1 KO) Mexicali, Mexico W TKO 10 LAT
    --Lopez was behind on the cards to where only a knockout would preserve his unbeaten record and with around only a minute remaining in the bout, Lopez scored the knockout he needed. Lopez-125, Rodriguez-124.
    May 24 Bobby Chacon 23-1-0 (21 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Sports Arena) (0:48) L TKO 9 LAT
    -- Lopez-123 ½, Chacon-126. Att: 16027. Gross: $222,020. Lopez down once in the 9th.
    Aug 8 Masano Toyoshima 22-5-1 (19 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (2:59) W KO 3 LAT
    --Att: 4100, Gross: $11,200.
    Sep 19 Shig Fukuyama 23-10-3 (16 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) L TKO 9 LAT
    --Televised bout.


    1975
    Jan 18 Octavio Gomez 45-13-5 (29 KO) Anaheim, CA (Convention Center) L PTS 10 LAT
    --Lopez-124 ¼, Gomez-125 ½. Lopez is supposed to get $5,000 for this bout.
    Apr 24 Chucho Castillo 46-16-2 (22 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 2 LAT
    --Lopez-126, Castillo-127. Att: 7000, Gross: $49,707. Lopez earned $11,000. Televised bout.
    Jul 26 Raul Cruz 17-14-2 (11 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W KO 6 LAT
    --Lopez-126 ¾, Cruz-126 ½. Att: 3500. Gross: $16,740. Cruz was reportedly 48-11-0 (35 KO) going into the bout. Televised bout.
    Sep 13 Antonio Nava 21-4-1 (-- KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 6 LAT
    --Nava was reportedly 28-4-0 (10 KO) going into the bout. Televised bout.
    Dec 4 Ruben Olivares 79-6-1 (71 KO) Inglewood, CA (Great Western Forum) W KO 7 LAT
    --Olivares was a 10 to 8 favorite. This was Olivares’ 19th appearance at the Forum. Lopez-125 ½, Olivares-127 ½.

    1976
    Feb 25 Sean O'Grady 29-0-0 (25 KO) Inglewood, CA (Great Western Forum) W TKO 4 LAT
    Apr 28 Octavio Gomez 50-15-5 (30 KO) Inglewood, CA (Great Western Forum) W KO 3 LAT
    Aug 6 Art Hafey 53-6-4 (33 KO) Inglewood, CA (Great Western Forum) W TKO 7 LAT
    Nov 5 David Kotey 33-2-1 (20 KO) Accra, Ghana (Sports Stadium) W PTS 15 LAT
    --Wins WBC Featherweight Title. Lopez chipped bones in his right hand which required surgery following the win.

    1977
    Jul 29 Jose Olivares 8-14-2 (1 KO) San Diego, CA (San Diego Coliseum) (1:42) W KO 2 LAT
    --A right hand ended the fight. Attendance was a capacity crowd at 3500.
    Aug 28 Jorge Altamirano 1-5-0 (1 KO) Stateline, NV (High Sierra Theater) (3:00) W KO 6 LAT
    --Reno Evening Gazette has a great photo of Lopez and a long article. Altamirano reportedly had a record of 21-6-0 going into the bout. Weights: Lopez-128, Altamirano-130.
    Sep 13 Jose Torres 26-5-1 (24 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) W TKO 7 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title. Referee: Larry Rozadilla. Torres retires on his stool after dropping Lopez early. Torres floored Lopez early in the second round with a sizzling right hand. Lopez answered with a knockdown in the third round, two in the fourth. Nationally televised card was called “Night of the Champions.” Oakland Tribune has a nice photo of Torres on the canvas. Torres’ corner called it quits after the seventh round.

    1978
    Feb 15 David Kotey 37-3-1 (22 KO) Las Vegas, NV (Hilton Hotel & Casino) (1:18) W TKO 6 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title.
    Apr 22 Jose DePaula 27-2-2 (7 KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:30) W TKO 6 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title. Did the bout take place on April 23?
    Sep 15 Juan Malvarez 43-7-6 (-- KO) New Orleans, LA (Superdome) (0:55) W KO 2 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title. Lopez was down in the first. Lopez earned $155,000.
    Oct 21 Fel Clemente 11-7-1 (-- KO) Pesaro, Italy (Arena) (2:15) W DQ 4 --
    --Retains World Featherweight Title. Referee: Gujelmo Ajor. Televised.

    1979
    Mar 10 Roberto Castanon 30-0-0 (20 KO) Salt Lake City, UT (Salt Palace) W KO 2 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title. Referee: Carlos Padilla. LAT has a good photo of Lopez landing a shot on Castanon.
    Jun 17 Mike Ayala 22-1-0 (-- KO) San Antonio, TX (Auditorium) (1:09) W KO 15 --
    --Retains World Featherweight Title. Referee: Carlos Padilla 135-132 | Judge: Lew Eskin 135-129 | Judge: Lou Tabat 131-134. Ayala took a knee in both the 7th and 11th rounds. 1979 Fight of the Year - Ring Magazine.
    Sep 25 Jose Caba 11-1-0 (-- KO) Los Angeles, CA (Olympic Auditorium) (1:41) W TKO 3 LAT
    --Retains World Featherweight Title. L-125 ½, C-126. Lopez earned $200,000. Att: 4,500 (est). Referee: Martin Denkin

    1980
    Feb 2 Salvador Sanchez 33-1-1 (-- KO) Phoenix, AZ (Memorial Coliseum) (0:51) L TKO 13 --
    --World Featherweight Title. Referee: Waldemar Schmidt | Judge: Lou Filippo 110-119 | Judge: Chuck Hassett 111-118 | Judge: Jorge L. Velasco 108-120.
    Jun 21 Salvador Sanchez 35-1-1 (-- KO) Las Vegas, NV (Caesar’s Palace) (1:42) L TKO 14 --
    --For World Featherweight Title. Referee: Mills Lane | Judge: Harold Buck 122-125 | Judge: Anselmo Escobedo 120-127 | Judge: Benjamin Gonzalez 126-129.

    1992
    Feb 27 Jorge Rodriguez 10-24-2 (-- KO) Irvine, CA (0:37) L KO 3 --
    --Weights; Lopez-131, Rodriguez-130.




    Sources
    LAT= Los Angeles Times
    TVN= The Valley News (Van Nuys, CA)

  5. #5
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    Re: Climate of Hunter: Danny Lopez in Africa

    Lopez was champ when I first started boxing, and he became a real idol of mine.
    He is my favorite featherweight ever, and arguably the most exciting featherweight champion of all time.
    Karl

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    Re: Climate of Hunter: Danny Lopez in Africa

    Well said, Karl - my sentiments exactly!

  7. #7
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    Re: Climate of Hunter: Danny Lopez in Africa

    Damn-what A Fighter And What A Historian.

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    Re: Climate of Hunter: Danny Lopez in Africa

    mikey casey is a great writer and i enjoyed the article on my favorite fighter but i wonder where he got such a detailed description of the first fight with kotey. that is a fight i have never seen and i was at most of danny's fights and have many on tape. mikes description of how hard it was to get out of town results back then is right on.

    when danny took that fight and left town without his manager in an effort to lift the title on the dark continent it was tantamount to leaving the planet and coming home champ. when i heard that danny took the crown by decision i figured he must have won every round but mike's article hints of a closer contest. i guess we need to give ghana kudos for their fairness of officiating, belatedly, and thank god danny did not have to go to korea for his title shot.
    greg

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