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Boxing News & Notes: Lopez Subdued, Iron Boy 17, Commission Meeting

Arizona Bolxing News & Notes With Don Smith: The Arizona boxing community is saddened and shocked to hear that Boxer Christopher Phil Lopez was arrested on Sunday Morning (11/2/2014) and currently sits in the Volusia County Jail for allegedly stabbing his 61 year old stepfather (Adrian Nelson Cruz Sr.) twice with hunting knife, 6 inch blade, in a bizarre incident at the Cruz family home in Deltona, Florida a city with a population of almost 90,000 residents located between Orlando and Daytona Florida. Lopez’s Mother (53 year old Theodora Lopez Cruz) wrestled her son to the floor and sat on him while applying a choke hold until police responded to a frantic 911 call shortly after 7 a.m. Florida time.

During the tussle, the weapon was taken from the grip of Lopez and thrown across the master bedroom away from the suspect. Once Police and EMT personnel arrived; the victim was airlifted to the nearest hospital for treatment, he is now recuperating at his home.

Chris, a graduate of Pine Ridge High School in Deltona Florida, was a star amateur boxer who took his considerable boxing skills to Arizona where he trained at Sonny’s Boxing Gym in Avondale, Arizona and turned professional in 2011. He is remembered by Arizona acquaintances interviewed as a good kid with a big heart and willingness to help others and donate time and energy to a variety of Phoenix area charities.


One local (Buckeye, Arizona) Lopez fan says she was shocked to hear the news and believes Christopher was provoked into committing an act that was “out of character” for the 26 year old. Mr. Lopez is charged with attempted murder during a felony act. No bond was set and his court hearing date is on the docket for November 26. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Incident Report lists the nature of the call as simple or aggravated assault and because of location of the crime (home), it is also listed as a domestic violence act on the incident form.

Lopez. a Featherweight boxer, left Arizona (2013) and returned to Deltona Florida after compiling a 7-1 record during his 2-3 year stay in Arizona and posted a 0-2 effort after his return to Deltona to be with his mother; younger brother Candido Lopez, also a fighter reportedly made the Florida journey with Chris, but was absent from the home at the time of the stabbing.

According to a Daytona News- Journal reporter who covered the aftermath of the gruesome incident, Chris, his mother, stepfather and Adrian Nelson Cruz Junior were the inhabitants in the house at the time of the incident.
Here is the official narrative supplement of what happened after members of Volusia County Sheriff’s Officers were dispatched to the family residence of Adrian and Theodora Cruz on Sunday, November 2, 2014.

This version of the incident was filed by Officer Timothy Pullin, ID # 7837 to police and mandatory agencies and Arizona Boxing News & Notes is very grateful for the full cooperation of Volusia County Authorities.
On Sunday, 11-02-2014, at approximately 0700 hours, Christopher Phil Lopez (suspect) knocked on the door of his stepfather and mother’s bedroom and said he needed to get something from their bathroom. Adrian N. Cruz (Victim) and Theodora Cruz (Witness #1), Lopez’s stepfather and mother, slept in the master bedroom which has a bathroom attached. Lopez was let into the room by Adrian (stepfather) and he (Lopez) went into the bathroom.

After a little while Adrian became curious what Lopez was doling and entered the bathroom to check on him. Lopez yelled “You need to stop hurting my mother!” and attacked Adrian with a large six inch fixed blade hunting knife. Lopez stabbed Adrian in the neck area on the left side near his left shoulder and in the middle left side of his back. Lopez continued the attack until Adrian was able to escape and Theodora, his mother, held him (Lopez) down. During the struggle, Theodora was able to get the knife away from her son (Lopez) and throw it across the master bedroom to prevent Chris from continuing the attack. She held him in a choke hold until police arrived, handcuffed him and took him to Volusia County Jail where he remains.

During the episode, Lopez allegedly cried out that he wanted to end his life. Authorities weren’t permitted to tell me he was put in solitary confinement or placed on a suicide watch after he was taken in custody.
Adrian exited the residence where he was met by first responding deputies. Upon arrival, Deputy Cochran and SGT. Rahn made contact with Adrian who advised his stepson Christopher stabbed him and was still inside the house. The two officers took Adrian into custody without further incident. Adrian was medically treated by EVAC 41 and Fire Rescue 163 and air lifted to Halifax Hospital where he was listed in stable condition. He has since been released and returned home. The case is still active and was turned over to District 4 CID.

Christopher Lopez retired from boxing in August of this year after reportedly suffering a severe concussion during his last bout, a loss. His mother told police her son was acting strange for months leading up to the incident and was scheduled to see a psychologist on Monday November 3rd, less than 36 hours after the bizarre attack. What a difference a day in time can sometimes alter the course and events in history: we will never know!
His friends in Arizona can contact Christopher Lopez by dispatching a letter to the following address: Lopez, Christopher, Inmate # 937294 c/o Volusia County Correctional Facility (VCCF), 1354 Indian Lake Road, Daytona Beach 32124. It is up to the inmate if he or she wants to respond to letters and the facility has the legal right to screen inmate letters.

November 10 Meeting: Nathan Hyland, Rage in the Cage, will attend the November 10 Arizona State Boxing/MMA meeting on Washington Street and is expected to seek to confirm a MMA show date in Yavapai County, Arizona for some time in December preferably 5 days before Christmas. A confirmed date will be passed on to readers of this column when the event is stenciled in with permanent ink.

The young business executive will also discuss operating expenses including medical costs and licensing fee expenses. Mr. Hyland will address the issue in an effort to alleviate a problem for some financially strapped athletes. I spoke to Mr. Hyland about the matter and he hopes a compromise can be reached. R.I.T.C. hopes to present 10 shows in 2015; a very ambitious goal!

Although I don’t have an official intermarry of the planned meeting, I received a call from an irate boxing supporter who stated he/she would attend the meeting to protest continued consideration of the Ben Miranda Boxing Promotion’s request for another fight in the state of Arizona. The caller described the Ben Miranda Group as shady and unscrupulous and demanded an independent background check of the key personnel involved with the organization. I assume the agitated boxing fan will be allowed to speak at the scheduled 10 a.m. meeting on Monday November 10 if the person in question bothers to show up.

Not everyone agrees that BMBP should close its’ doors and bid farewell to boxing. A local boxing insider called me and said the matter should be handled diplomatically meaning ban those individuals in the group deemed “bad eggs” and allow BMBP a second chance.

My quarrel with their past record of doing business is three fold: (1) failed to offer well matched bouts (2) failed to invite the majority of the Arizona boxing media (3) Chose to be so clandestine about the operation; Phoenix has big ears and takes notice.

In their first effort at the Phoenix Convention Center, BMBP failed to heed those simple and practical guidelines. In recent weeks, failure to gain response from their designated public relations group is quite baffling and self-defeating. I do hope the communication problem is resolved. The sport of boxing (in Phoenix) needs healthy competition and innovative promoters who understand the significance of being open and congenial. The last two paragraphs should be considered editorial comment and I don’t apologize for weighing in with the carefully crafted thoughts.

Short Jabs: Casa Grande Arizona welterweight Abel Ramos is scheduled to fight in Tennessee on November 20, but no word on who the young man will face. Abel is preparing for his unknown foe by sparring with popular Juanito Garcia, a well-respected Phoenix based welterweight…. Paul “Ziggy” Romero is off the Iron Boy 17 card (11/15) due to injury sustained in training. His absence drops the number of fights to 14: 10 professional and 4 amateur bouts…… As of now, Alexis Zazueta doesn’t have an opponent for the Celebrity Theatre fight on 11/15 but Iron Boy Promotions is trying hard to find a worthy foe for the promising prospect that is managed by the incomparable Cameron Dunkin….Top Rank and Iron Promotions will share the producing reins on December 20 with a show at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix. Andy Ruiz Jr., Erick De Leon and Trevor McCumby are three of the fighters mentioned for the Iron Boy 18 card; sounds like a winner……At least three trainers told me that Christopher Lopez was struggling with steroids before he left for Florida and they swear the lad had a blowup and a parting of the way with his uncle/trainer. I hope he gets help if that’s the case…. Vasily Jirov, one of the owners of Keep Punching Boxing and Rico Hoye (a partner) are burning the midnight oil trying to build their Scottsdale located boxing and fitness center; relax guys and have fun before the proverbial wrinkles set in….More of the Michael Preston Green (Boxing Commission Chairman) interview next column. With the recent election of Arizona Republican Gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey, Mr. Green might get his wish and serve another term. Green supported Ducey; therefore the governor elect could grant the chairman more time on the commission.

Tourney Results: I went to the Salvation Army amateur boxing tournament on Saturday November 1 and had to leave before action began due to a late start of the event. However, Arizona Boxing News & Notes retrieved the results and we gladly pass them on to our devoted readers: Fabian Montes (Phoenix Boys Center) over Jesus Silva (Gene Lewis Boxing), Rosselyn Chavira (Southwest Tucson) over Julie Evans (Arizona Fight Club), Andre Gayton (Salvation Army) over Tommy Nosie (Central Boxing), Robert Meriwether (Knockout Boxing) over Tyler Carlos Echeverria (Fuentes Boxing), Leonardo Juarez (Sanchez Boxing) over Brandon Labotos (Iron Boy), Christopher Gonzales (Tucson Southwest) over Jovani Valenzuela (Iron Boy), Mario Mendoza (Salvation Army) over Luis Chavez (Gene Lewis). Litzy Hernandez (J&C Boxing) over Victoria Gayton (Salvation Army), Angel Quintana (Guadalupe Boxing) over Elijah Costello (Boxing INC. East), Erick Bermudez (Fuentes) over Othon Corolla (Arizona Fight Club), Jacob Ponce (Knockout Boxing) over Jesse Acosta (Boxing INC. East), Rieffe Dacanay over Ismail Borlakov (Keep Punching Boxing), Armando Chavez (Guadalupe Boxing) over Jaciel Carbajal (Fuentes),Mario Mundo (J & C Boxing) over Alex Diaz (Arizona Fight Club, Gabriel Quijaoa (Knockout Boxing) over Caleb Cantu (Arizona Fight Club), Shawn Sarembock (New World Boxing) over Waldo Aldecoa ( IronGloves Boxing). Special thanks to all the gyms that called in the results.

Iron Boy 17: Iron Boy promotions returns to the Celebrity Theater to present Iron Boy XVII with a pro/am show streamed live with 1st bell at 6 p.m. and doors open at 5 p.m. In total, 14 matches; 10 professional fights and 4 amateur bouts. If you skip the amateur contests you may miss a star(s) in the making. Alfredo Escarcega, Breenan Macias, Edward Ceballos and Luis Espinoza are four fine prospects who are capable of turning heads with their ring skills; please catch all four fights.

The main Event features Phoenix favorite Victor Castro (12-0) vs. Robert Rodriguez (7-4) from Greely Colorado. Other bouts include Carlos Castro (6-0) vs. John Herrera also from Phoenix. Quick hitting Emmanuel Nieves (1-0) meets Mexico’s Ivan Garcia in a four round contest. In a Chandler Arizona twosome battle for the city of Chandler bragging rights, Keith Busch goes toe to toe with David Demore in a four round cruiserweight scrap. Alexis Zazueta, a promising flyweight is on the card awaiting an opponent. Brian Mendoza has an opponent and he will be fighting Lazaro Dominguez from El Paso Texas. Brandon Riddell (1-1) from Apache Junction Arizona hopes to beat Phoenix’s Aron Moreno in his debut appearance. Juan Carlos Benavidez takes on veteran Emilio (7-1) as a decided underdog, but anything can happen in boxing. Crowd favorite Edgar Brito (3-0-1) takes on Mexico’s undefeated Manuel David Lopez in a fur round super bantamweight battle, Good seats are available at the Celebrity Theater box-office, Iron Boy website and through Ticket Master… Until Next Time!