Luis Alberto Lopez to Defend IBF Featherweight Title vs. Joet Gonzalez

Luis Alberto Lopez is going on the defensive.

The 29-year-old Mexican professional boxer will defend his IBF featherweight title vs. Joet Gonzalez on September 15 in Corpus Christi, Texas, per ESPN.

Luis Alberto Lopez, El VenadoLopez, ESPN‘s top boxer at 126 pounds, will headline a “Top Rank on ESPN” show for the first time in the U.S.

Lopez won the title with a majority-decision victory over Josh Warrington in December and retained the belt with a brutal fifth-round TKO of Michael Conlan in May. Both bouts took place in the U.K.

Lopez (28-2, 16 KOs) has won 11 fights since a 2019 decision defeat to Ruben Villa. Now, Lopez will meet a fellow action fighter in Gonzalez, 29, who fights out of Los Angeles.

Two of Gonzalez’s three defeats came via decision in title challenges (against Emanuel Navarrete and Shakur Stevenson). Gonzalez (26-3, 15 KOs) also dropped a decision to Isaac Dogboe last year.

Robeisy Ramirez to Defend WBO Featherweight Title vs. Satoshi Shimizu in July

Robeisy Ramirez is going into defensive mode…

The 29-year-old Cuban professional boxer will make the first defense of his WBO featherweight title versus Satoshi Shimizu on July 25 in Tokyo, promoter Top Rank has announced.

Robeisy RamirezThe 126-pound title bout will serve as chief support on ESPN+ for the highly anticipated showdown between Stephen Fulton and Naoya Inoue for Fulton’s unified 122-pound championship.

Ramirez, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, captured the vacant title this month with a unanimous-decision victory over Isaac Dogboe.

Ramirez (12-1, 7 KOs) rose to No. 6 in ESPN’s featherweight rankings and is poised for some big matchups in the action-packed division going forward.

“Fighting is what I do best, titles are meant to be defended and there’s no stopping ‘El Tren!,'” said Ramirez, 29.

Shimizu (11-1, 10 KOs), an Olympic bronze medalist from Japan, will be fighting for a world title for the first time at age 37.

Oscar Valdez to Fight Adam Lopez in a 130-Pound Rematch Bout in May

Oscar Valdez will be headed to the boxing ring this May…

The 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer, a former two weight world champion, will face Adam Lopez in a 130-pound rematch on May 20 in Las Vegas, according to ESPN sources.

Oscar ValdezThe bout will serve as chief support for the Devin HaneyVasiliy Lomachenko fight for the undisputed lightweight championship on ESPN+ PPV, per source.

Valdez (30-1, 23 KOs) defeated Lopez (16-4, 6 KOs) via seventh-round stoppage in November 2019, but the fight was far tougher than accepted. Lopez, a major underdog, floored Valdez in Round 2 before the Mexican Olympian rallied for the TKO victory.

Valdez and Lopez were set to fight different opponents on that night, but after Valdez’s original opponent came in overweight, the matchup was pieced together for the following night.

“I was very surprised [by the knockdown],” Valdez said at the time. “I take my hat off to Adam Lopez. He’s a great fighter, great warrior, just like his father [Hector Lopez] was. I just got hit. This is boxing. I prepared myself for two, three months for [Adrian] Gutierrez. Got a new opponent, but that’s no excuse. This kid is a warrior.”

This time around, they’ll have ample time to prepare for one another in advance.

Valdez was set to fight Emanuel Navarrete on February 3 for the vacant WBO junior lightweight title but withdrew because of a rib injury.

Navarrete went on to win the title with a ninth-round TKO victory over Liam Wilson. If Valdez defeats Lopez again as expected, Navarrete will defend the title vs. Valdez later this year, per source.

But first, Valdez must contend with Lopez. Valdez, 32, lost his 130-pound title in April when Shakur Stevenson routed him. Prior to that, he defeated Robson Conceicao in September 2021 after Valdez tested positive for the banned substance phentermine.

Lopez, 26, owns only one win over the past two years, sandwiched by decision losses to Isaac Dogboe and, most recently, Abraham Nova in January. He was floored twice vs. Nova.

“I would love a rematch with Oscar; he’s a true fighter,” Lopez said in November 2019. “I’m not a 130-pounder, but I’m a real fighter as well, so I’ll take on anybody, anywhere.”

Robeisy Ramirez to Fight Isaac Dogboe in April in Featherweight Bout

No April Fools’ joke… Robeisy Ramirez is heading back to the ring in April.

The 29-year-old Cuban professional boxer will face Isaac Dogboe in a featherweight bout with title implications on April 1 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to ESPN.

Robeisy RamirezThe Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ main event is expected to be contested for either the vacant WBO featherweight title or the interim belt.

Emanuel Navarrete, the WBO champion at 126 pounds, meets Liam Wilson on February 3 for the WBO’s vacant title at 130 pounds. Navarrete is expected to fight Oscar Valdez in a rescheduled 130-pound bout afterward but could always elect to return to 126.

Ramirez (11-1, 7 KOs) is a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba who broke out in 2022 with three victories, most notably a highlight-reel KO of Abraham Nova in June. He closed the campaign with a ninth-round TKO of Jose Matias Romero in October.

Dogboe (24-2, 15 KOs) is a former 122-pound champion who lost his title to Navarrete via decision in 2018. Navarrete scored a 12th-round TKO in the rematch the following year. Dogboe, 28, from Ghana, moved up to 126 pounds afterward and has won all four of his featherweight fights.

Those wins came over some recognizable names, including Adam Lopez, Christopher Diaz and most recently, Joet Gonzalez.

Dogboe is rated No. 10 by ESPN at featherweight. Ramirez and Dogboe are the top two available contenders in the WBO’s 126-pound ratings.