Photo: CARLOS BAEZA – Welterweight Josesito Lopez, also known as the “Riverside Rocky,” overcame an early knockdown to score a unanimous decision win against “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis on Friday, Dec 13 from the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif. An accidental head-butt in the eighth round left Arnaoutis with a nasty cut above his left eye. The ringside physician ruled Arnaoutis unable to continue, which took the fight to the scorecards. After eight rounds, the judges ruled in favor of Lopez, 77-74, 77-74, and 76-75.
By far Lopez was the more active fighter, but establishing a smooth rhythm proved difficult against the crafty southpaw.
“I didn’t have my “A” game tonight, but I worked through it and did enough to get a win,” said Lopez, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions. “I was able to move well and apply pressure, but I never really settled into a nice pace.”
Arnaoutis appeared poised for an upset after landing a stiff right jab that sent Lopez to one knee at the closing seconds of the third round. Lopez, however, shook it off like a seasoned veteran and worked combinations to the head and body in subsequent rounds. At times, Arnaoutis countered well, but he was unable to hurt the bigger and stronger Lopez.
“Josesito was met with early adversity and he handled it like a true professional,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He has a lot of talent and heart and he showed that tonight.”
Lopez improves to 31-6, 18 KOs, while Arnaoutis drops to 24-10-2, 11 KOs.