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Boxing Legend: Happy Birthday El-Finito

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By Olu Allen

Boxing lengend Ricardo Lopez Nava was born on this day in the year 1966.

He lived in an era in which the lower weight classes of boxing were (as they are still very much today) greatly underappreciated and underpaid.

The great Mexican flyweight had his first amateur fight in the early ‘80s to kick off a rally that still raises eyebrows even today. “El Finito” (The Thin One) as he is called never lost a single fight as an amateur. From 1985 until his retirement in 2001, he would never lose a professional fight.

His pro debut which began at age of 18 kick-started his 26-0 campaign before obtaining the first of his four belts in two divisions. He became WBC strawweight titlist for eight years where he kept a record-breaking 21 defenses while adding the WBA and WBO versions of the title in that process.

He later added the IBF junior flyweight belt for the last stretch of his career. When he retired, he was without a single blemish in his record other than a cuts-induced technical draw against Nicaragua’s Rosendo Alvarez.

He will later be avenged 8 months later with a decision win. Alvarez came in at a higher weight but Lopez still took the challenge.

His final record was 51 wins, with no losses and 1 draw, and 38 knockouts to his credit. Among the many great fighters, he defeated during his illustrious career are Hideyuki Ohashi, Kyung-Yung Lee, Saman Sorjaturong, Ala Villamor, Alex Sanchez, Will Grigsby, Ratanapol Sor Vorapin, Zolani Petelo, and many others.

His greatest claim to fame, however, is his technical prowess and his impeccable boxing skills coupled with his killer instincts, a combination that places him, according to some observers, as one of the best Mexican fighters of all time.

Although his era didn’t feature too many fighters remotely close to his skill level, he was still so much higher above his competitors that he has been named almost indisputably as the greatest strawweight fighter in the division’s short history.

Lopez was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007. At Stallion Times we wish the legend a happy birthday.

Here are the boxing features for the remaining days of this month of July:

July 29: Montreal

Title fight: Yesenia Gomez vs. Kim Clavel, 10 rounds, for Gomez’s WBC women’s junior flyweight title

Movladdin Biyarslanov vs. Issouf Kinda, 10 rounds, junior welterweights

Mohamed Soumaoro vs. TBA, 8 rounds, lightweights

July 29: San Jose, Costa Rica

Title fight: Sonia Osorio vs. Adelaida Ruiz, 10 rounds, for Osorio’s WBC women’s interim WBC junior bantamweight title

July 30: Brooklyn, New York

Danny Garcia vs. Jose Benavidez Jr., 12 rounds, junior middleweights

Adam Kownacki vs. Ali Eren Demirezen, 10 rounds, heavyweights

Gary Antuanne Russell vs. Rances Barthelemy, 10 rounds, junior welterweights

July 30: Los Angeles

Austin McBroom vs. AnEsonGib, exhibition

Adrian Peterson vs. Le’Veon Bell, exhibition

Blueface vs. Nick Young, exhibition

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