Professional boxer and Fresno native Joe Louie Lopez is on state-mandated administrative suspension, a ban that could extend up to nine months or end in two if he fights as scheduled in December at Save Mart Center.
The dispute centers around what was to have been a Sept. 10 bout against Quilisto Madera in Lemoore. Lopez pulled out, with his camp saying he had suffered a hamstring injury during training. Top Rank, the fight’s promoter, pushed to have the bout rescheduled but then said it could not get Lopez to agree to terms.
That left it to the California State Athletic Commission, and it ordered Lopez suspended until he makes good on his Top Rank commitment. Now, with a new contract in place, Lopez is set to step into the ring against Madera on Dec. 2 as part of the undercard for “Fight for Water 6” at the Fresno arena.
“According to the contract, and this is the CSAC contract for any fighter, if a fighter does not show up, regardless of the situation, they have to make good on that fight,” said Michelle McVay, an information officer for the Department of Consumer Affairs. “There is an administrative suspension that is implemented and the length of the suspension can be as long as nine months.
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“However, as soon as that fighter makes good on a fight with that particular promoter, the suspension is lifted.”
Lopez, for his part, promises that he’s moved on – from the injury, the contract issue and the suspension – and is focused on Madera: “He doesn’t belong in the ring with me,” Lopez said, “and I’m going to show that.”
Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler called the whole matter “standard procedure … not a personal thing or an emotional thing.”
“It’s real simple: We had a fight scheduled and signed by both guys and one of the fighters claimed injury and didn’t fight,” Trampler said. “We rescheduled it and now the fighter who supposedly got injured wanted to negotiate new terms, (get a) far larger purse than he originally agreed to and we met his demands. Then he still wasn’t going to fight and we filed everything with the California State Athletic Commission, and failure to fulfill the contract, no matter the fighter, is grounds for suspension and the commission has suspended him.”
It’s standard procedure and it’s not a personal thing or an emotional thing.
Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler on settling a dispute with Fresno pro boxer Joe Louie Lopez through the California State Athletic Commission
Lopez trainer Bryan Williams maintains his fighter was hurt leading up to the September bout, saying it happened during a workout at Woodward Park.
“I didn’t want him to fight Kilo (Madera’s nickname), or anybody else,” Williams said, “unless he’s 100 percent.”
Lopez (8-1, 5 KOs) and Madera (4-0, 2 KOs) will fight for the California State middleweight title, local promoter Rick Mirigian said. Mirigian’s top fighter, Avenal native and former U.S. Olympian Jose Ramirez, headlines the card.
“I was just relaxing, waiting for the right terms,” said Lopez, 32, in Oakland to train with Andre Ward, who will face Sergey Kovalev in a light-heavyweight title fight Nov. 19 in Las Vegas.
He doesn’t belong in the ring with me and I’m going to show that. He’s not a conditioned athlete.
Lopez on facing Quilisto Madera in a bout rescheduled from September after Lopez said he was hurt during training
“That’s all it was, just waiting for them to meet me in the middle. There’s nothing in it for me in fighting Kilo. I’m doing Kilo a favor and my promoters a favor by putting on a show, but it’s like what upside is in it for me? It’s business as usual. Beat the brains out of this dude … so I can look at everyone who turned on me.”
Madera, of Stockton, spinned it a little differently after the contracts were signed Wednesday.
“He practically gave it all up without fighting,” Madera said. “All of a sudden has to because he don’t want to get suspended. Plus, it’s the end of the road for him. It’s his last shot and dude’s old. On the other hand, I’m 24, undefeated, hungry, fearless and ready for any man. It’s for a title and I want it more than ever.”