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Danny Lopez

Danny Lopez (born July 6, 1952) is a former boxer from Fort Duchesne, Utah. Lopez was world Feaherweight champion, and a very popular fighter both in television and Southern California, during the 1970s.His nickname is Little Red.

Lopez began boxing professionally on May 27, 1971, knocking out Steve Flajole[?] in one round at Los Angeles. He won his first 21 fights in a row by knockout, in one of the longest knockout win streaks ever. During that streak, all but one of his fights were in Los Angeles, a fact which could be credited for his popularity in the area. The only one of his fights among those 21 fights outside Los Angeles took place in Honolulu, where he beat Ushiwakamaru Harada[?] by a knockout in three.

On January 17, 1974, Genzo Kurosaw[?] became the first person to go the distance with Lopez, Lopez winning by a ten round decision. His next fight, a month later, in Mexicali[?], Mexico, was his first fight abroad. He beat Memo Rodriguez[?] by a knockout in nine rounds there.

People in Los Angeles were eager to see Lopez and another up-and-coming Angelino, Bobby Chacon, square off inside a ring. The fight took place on May 24, and Lopez suffered his first professional loss, by a knockout in round nine. After one more win, he lost once again by a knockout in round nine, this time to Shig Furuyama[?].

After losing to Octavio Gomez[?] to begin 1975, Lopez went into a roll: He began by beating Chucho Castillo by a knockout in two rounds. Two more wins, and he was faced with Ruben Olivares, whom he beat by a knockout in seven rounds.

In 1976, he beat Sean O' Grady by knockout in four, Gomez by knockout in three and Art Hafey[?] by knockout in seven. Finally ranked number one by the WBC, he travelled to Ghana to challenge world Featherweight champion David Kotey[?] in front of an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 Kotey partisans. Lopez became world champion by outpointing Kotey over 15 rounds on November 5. This trip proved to be troublesome for the new champion, however: back in his hotel room, he tried to call his family in the United States to announce the good news, but all communication systems had been cut down in Ghana. Lopez then tried to send them a telegram through the American embassy in Accra, but they too were affected by the system failure and could not get his message through. Lopez's family was finally able to realize that Danny was a world champion when they picked him up at the airport one week later.

Lopez won three fights in 1977, retaining the title once, against Jose Torres[?] by a knockout in round seven.

He and Kotey had a rematch on February 15 of 1978, as part of the undercard where Leon Spinks dethroned Muhammad Ali of the world Heavyweight title. Lopez knockoed Kotey out in round six of their rematch, and then he retained the title against Jose DePaula[?] by knockout in round six, and Juan Malvares[?] (on the undercard where Ali regained the title from Spinks) by knockout in two. On October 21, he had a fight with Fel Clemente[?], against whom he retained theworld title with a four round disqualification in Italy.

By the end of 1978, there was much talk of a super-fight against world Jr. Featherweight champion Wilfredo Gomez, but the bout never materialized.

His fight on March 10 of 1979 against Spain's Roberto Castanon[?] in Salt Lake City, not only marked the first time he defended his world title in his home-state, but the first time he fought in his home-state as a professional period. He retained the crown with a ten round knockout. Then, on June 17, at San Antonio, Lopez and Mike Ayala[?] fought what boxing book The Ring: Boxing in the 20th Century called one of the best fights of 1979. Lopez retained the title with a 15th round knockout, but the fight was marred by the finding afterwards that Ayala had been fighting under the influence of drugs. Nevertheless, this did not affect the fight's result, but left many to speculate about how the fightwould have ended had Ayala not been drugged during it. Ayala himself admitted to have been, in his own words, loaded on the day of the fight.

Lopez went on to defend the title once more that year, knocking out Jose Caba[?] in three rounds.

Lopez's reign as world champion came to an end on February 2, 1980, at the Arizona Veterans Coliseum[?] in Phoenix. He met Salvador Sanchez that day, and he lost by knockout in round 13. A rematch was fought on June 21, in Las Vegas, and that time around, Lopez managed to last until the 14th round before succumbing once again by knockout. He announced his retirement after that fight.

In 1985, he talked about a comeback, but decided not to do it. However, in 1991, he did a one fight comeback, losing to Jorge Rodriguez[?] by a knockout in round three.

Lopez has remained active during his latest retirement in the social sphere: He has been the object of various dedications and been active on the autograph signing circuit. He returned to live in Utah full-time after stepping away from the boxing rings for the last time.

His record was of 42 wins and 6 losses, with 39 wins by knockout.



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