Danny Lopez

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Danny Lopez
Statistics
Real name Danny Lopez
Nickname(s) Little Red
Rated at Featherweight
Height 5 ft 7.5 in (1.71 m)
Nationality American
Born (1952-07-06) July 6, 1952 (age 62)
Fort Duchesne, Utah, USA
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 48
Wins 42
Wins by KO 39
Losses 6
Draws 0
No contests 0
This article is about the boxer. For the Puerto Rican politician, see Danny López Soto.

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

Background[edit]

Lopez is of Ute Indian, Mexican, and Irish heritage. He had been moved from one foster home to another, and coming off a Ute Indian Reservation in Utah, he finally found a home in Southern California. .[1] He is also the brother of welterweight contender Ernie Lopez. He is married to Bonnie Lopez and has three sons, Bronson, Jeremy, and Dylan.

Pro career[edit]

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 was knocked out in the ninth round in a thrilling fight. In his next fight, he won once again by a knockout in round nine, this time to Shig Furuyama.

After defeating Octavio Gómez 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 Rubén Olivares, whom he beat by a knockout in seven rounds, after recovering from a first round knockdown himself.

In 1976, he beat Sean O' Grady by knockout in four, Gómez 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 Kotei in front of an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 Kotei partisans. Lopez became world champion by outpointing Kotey over 15 rounds on November 6. 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 José Torres by a knockout in round seven.

He and Kotei 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 knocked 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 the world 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 Gómez, 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 fight would 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 Sánchez that day, and he lost by knockout in round 14 in a one-sided affair. A rematch was fought on June 21, in Las Vegas, and that time around, Lopez was knocked out in the 13th round, in a replay of the first fight. He announced his retirement after that fight.

In 1985, he talked about a comeback, but decided not to do it.

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

On June 2010, Lopez and 12 other boxing personalities were inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.[2]

Life After Boxing[edit]

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 ring for the last time, then moved to Los Angeles, where he works as a construction worker. Today he lives in Chino Hills, CA.

Official professional boxing record[edit]

42 Wins (39 Knockouts), 6 Defeats (5 Knockouts), 0 Draws[3]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Loss 42-6 United States Jorge Rodriguez KO 2 (10), 0:37 1992-02-27 United States Marriott Hotel, Irvine, California
Loss 42-5 Mexico Salvador Sánchez TKO 14 (15), 1:42 1980-06-21 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada For The Ring & WBC World Featherweight titles
Loss 42-4 Mexico Salvador Sánchez TKO 13 (15), 0:51 1980-02-02 United States Veteran's Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona Lost The Ring & WBC World Featherweight titles
Win 42-3 Dominican Republic Jose Caba TKO 3 (15), 1:41 1979-09-25 United States Los Angeles Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California Retained The Ring & WBC World Featherweight titles
Win 41-3 United States Mike Ayala KO 15 (15), 1:09 1979-06-17 United States San Antonio Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas Retained The Ring & WBC World Featherweight titles
The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" (1979)
Win 40-3 Spain Roberto Castañón KO 2 (15) 1979-03-10 United States Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah Retained WBC & Won vacant The Ring World Featherweight titles
Win 39-3 Philippines Fel Clemente DQ 4 (15), 2:15 1978-10-21 Italy Palazzo Dello Sport, Pesaro, Marche Retained WBC World Featherweight title
Win 38-3 Argentina Juan Malvarez KO 2 (15), 0:45 1978-09-15 United States Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana Retained WBC World Featherweight title
Win 37-3 Brazil Jose De Paula TKO 6 (15), 1:30 1978-04-23 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California Retained WBC World Featherweight title
Win 36-3 Ghana David Kotey TKO 6 (15), 1:18 1978-02-15 United States Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained WBC World Featherweight title
Win 35-3 Mexico José Torres RTD 7 (15) 1977-09-13 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California Retained WBC World Featherweight title
Win 34-3 Mexico Jorge Altamirano KO 6 (10) 1977-08-28 United States Sahara Tahoe Hotel, Stateline, Nevada
Win 33-3 United States Jose Olivares KO 2 (10), 1:22 1977-07-29 United States San Diego Coliseum, San Diego, California
Win 32-3 Ghana David Kotey UD 15 1976-11-06 Ghana Accra Sports Stadium, Accra Won WBC World Featherweight title
Win 31-3 Canada Art Hafey TKO 7 (10), 0:56 1976-08-06 United States Inglewood Forum, Inglewood, California
Win 30-3 Mexico Octavio Gomez KO 3 (10), 1:15 1976-04-28 United States Inglewood Forum, Inglewood, California
Win 29-3 United States Sean O'Grady RTD 4 (10) 1976-02-25 United States Inglewood Forum, Inglewood, California
Win 28-3 Mexico Rubén Olivares KO 7 (10), 1:59 1975-12-04 United States Inglewood Forum, Inglewood, California
Win 27-3 Mexico Antonio Nava KO 6 (10), 2:09 1975-09-13 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Win 26-3 Mexico Raul Cruz KO 6 (10), 0:30 1975-07-26 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Win 25-3 Mexico Chucho Castillo TKO 2 (10), 3:00 1975-04-24 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Loss 24-3 Mexico Octavio Gomez UD 10 1975-01-18 United States Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California
Loss 24-2 Japan Shig Fukuyama RTD 8 (10) 1974-09-19 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Win 24-1 Japan Masanao Toyoshima KO 3 (10), 2:59 1974-08-08 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Loss 23-1 United States Bobby Chacon TKO 9 (10), 0:48 1974-08-08 United States Los Angeles Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California
Win 23-0 Mexico Memo Rodriguez TKO 10 (10) 1974-02-04 Mexico Mexicali, Baja California
Win 22-0 Japan Genzo Kurosawa UD 10 1974-01-17 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Win 21-0 Mexico Goyo Vargas KO 1 (10), 2:59 1973-09-27 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Win 20-0 Japan Ushiwakamaru Harada TKO 3 (10) 1973-07-31 United States Honolulu, Hawaii

Honors[edit]

  • Inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame - 2005
  • Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame - 2010
Preceded by
David Kotei
WBC Featherweight Champion
6 Nov 1976– 2 Feb 1980
Succeeded by
Salvador Sánchez

References[edit]

External links[edit]