By Francisco Salazar
Sad news from Mexico City as former three-time world title challenger Hector Lopez passed away on Monday, Southern California matchmaker Hervi Estrada told Fightnews.com on Tuesday. Lopez was in Mexico City at the time of his death, working with the Mexican Olympic boxing team. After winning the silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles for Mexico, he turned pro less than a year later. In a span of eight years, Lopez only lost once in 27 fights, which earned a world title fight against Miguel Angel Gonzalez in 1993, losing by unanimous decision. After losing a close 10 round unanimous decision to eventual world champion Kostya Tszyu in 1994, Lopez would challenge for another world title belt a year and a half later against Sammy Fuentes. Lopez would lose a very close 12 round split-decision to Fuentes, a decision that was disputed by the media and fight fans in attendance or watching it on television.
Lopez would lose two major fights in his career, a 10 round decision loss to Carlos Gonzalez in March of 1997 and a ninth round knockout to Randall Bailey in December of 1999. His last fight was a third round stoppage victory over Jerry Rosenburg in July of 2000, finishing with a professional record of 41-7-1, with 23 KO’s.
Lopez did win major fights, scoring a 10 round unanimous decision over former world champion Juan LaPorte in 1992 and stopping previously-unbeaten Donald Stokes a year later. He also defeated John Avila in 1996 by unanimous decision to win a regional title belt and would successfully defend it twice.
Estrada also told Fightnews.com that Lopez, nicknamed “El Torero,” lived in the Southern California high desert city of Palmdale, eventually moving to North Hollywood, and that Lopez’s two sons still box in the amateur ranks, accumulating championships and titles. Lopez was 44 years of age. Fightnews.com wishes to send its condolences and thoughts to his family and friends.