•Fresno’s Joe Louie Lopez picked up a win on the Fight for Water 4 card at Selland Arena, but called it an “ugly fight” because of his opponent’s unwillingness to mix it up more.
Never miss a local story.
• Seven fights in all were contest in front of a sellout crowd Saturday night.
• Noted boxing promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank was in the crowd.
Joe Louie Lopez wasn’t in the mood to trade hugs Saturday.
No matter. The Fresno native was in control from the opening bell en route to a unanimous decision over Daniel Henry in a middleweight bout on the undercard of “Fight for Water 4” at Selland Arena.
“Ugly fight,” said Lopez, 31, now 5-0. “The guy wasn’t boxing. I’m the type of fighter that likes a fighter to fight back.”
Each round, Henry worked his way into a clinch with Lopez, but in the second, Lopez was able to connect on a left hook that opened a cut above Henry’s left eye.
Henry, of Austin, Texas, fell to 2-4-3.
Lopez’s trainer, Bryan Williams, said Lopez needed to go the distance and was pleased with how he controlled the fight. His past two bouts had ended in KOs.
“It was tough,” Williams said. “I knew he was going to come hard. Joe did what he had to do. He just stayed relaxed.”
Daniel Valdivia of Tulare, meanwhile, also had been making a habit of knocking out opponents.
Not Saturday. This time he won by unanimous decision.
Valdivia did dominate, however, with the three judges scoring it 62-54 in his favor over Rick Graham in a six-round middleweight bout.
“It wasn’t my best performance,” Valdivia said.
But he’ll take the win, move on and hope to get better as he improved to 7-0. Graham fell to 3-6-2.
“I need to get better,” he said. “It was a tough fight.”
Valdivia entered Saturday off a fourth-round KO in Glendale in December.
The 8,046 in attendance were booing at times, wanting a repeat.
“I heard them,” Valdivia said. “But a win is a win. I need to keep trusting myself.”
Other fights ...
• Eric Altamirano of Fresno dominated against Hilario Medina, winning on a third-round knockout to improve to 4-0 with three KOs. Medina’s corner stopped the fight, which was scheduled to go four rounds.
• Alex Rojas, who reportedly became the first pro boxer from Fowler, didn’t have the ideal debut. His bout against Gabriel Solorio ended in a majority draw.
Arum takes time to mingle
Noted promoter and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum arrived in Lemoore on Saturday for a private meet and greet with the card’s sponsors at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino. He was joined by Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach and former world champion Erik Morales.
The session lasted 11/2 hours and included speeches by Arum, Roach and Morales, as well as comedian Paul Rodriguez and others from the Latino Water Coalition.
Faces in the crowd
Arum and Morales, as expected, also were at ringside.
Morales is now a manager, whose fighters include Jorge Paez Jr. Jorge Sr. fought at Selland Arena in 2000.
Paez Jr. will fight Jose Benavidez on Friday on truTV in Phoenix.