Ricardo Lopez - Is His Legacy Really Respected?
(Ricardo Lopez, in photo, retired in 2001 with a record of 51-0-1, 38 KOs) 21.08.07 - By Matt Yanofsky: Both Espn.com and Eastsideboxing.com have released recent all time pound for pound lists. While both lists factored multiple eras ranging from Jack Johnson to Floyd Mayweather Jr., one of the most well rounded and dominant fighters of any generation were left off both lists.
Article posted on 21.08.2007
I have always been one to defend the champions from the lower weight classes. Many of them don't receive the recognition they deserve due to a lack of television exposure. Boxing fans in the United States don't follow the lighter weight classes as much because American pugilists are rarely seen fighting under 126 pounds.
Ricardo "Finito" Lopez, the longtime strawweight king who had an incredible 21 defenses of his title as well as three defenses against former champions as a junior flyweight, has had his legacy altered by fans and analysts citing his weight class as the reason. Lopez was frequently featured on Don King's pay per view undercards and did face quality champions such as Rosendo Alvarez, Alex Sanchez, Ratanapol Sor Vorapin, and Zolani Petelo. In addition, Ricardo Lopez is one of only a handful of what I call a "five tool fighter" that has the total package (speed, power, chin, defense, and boxing ability).
During his title reign, the 2007 Hall of Fame inductee was ranked in the Ring Magazine's top ten pound for pound fighters, but never peaked in the top half. I find it amazing that a man who retired 51-0 and fought everyone put in front of him was stiffed even by "The Bible of Boxing." I argue that Lopez is not only one of the top three or four fighters in the last 20 years, but one of the greats of any era. I rank him in the top 20 of all time regardless of his weight class.
A fighter with the talent and accomplishments of Lopez made him truly a special fighter that rarely comes around. Writers, fans, and historians need to give him the credit that he deserves. Many of Lopez's fights can be seen on youtube.com, including his masterful performances against Saman Sorjaturong, Rocky Lin, and Alex Sanchez. Those who have never seen him fight before and are fortunate enough to watch tapes of his fights will see the jaw dropping ability of one of boxing's under-appreciated greats.
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