Look out, lightweights: Here comes Everton Lopes
On Feb. 27, Brazilian Everton Lopes will make his professional debut at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif.
Born in Salvador, Brazil, Lopes will look to make a splash in his 135 pound debut and then continue on a path toward a professional world title.
Lopes, an outstanding, highly decorated amateur, captured gold at the 2011 world championships. He sandwiched that between Olympic appearances in 2008 and 2012.
At 26 years of age and with an amateur record that boasts an impressive 240 wins in 250 bouts, look to see Lopes moved quickly. With his experience in the ring against world-class competition in the amateurs, he can be moved through the ranks at a faster pace than most novice professionals.
Lopes, currently training in Los Angeles, recently signed with Sheer Sports Management. He also caught the attention of Golden Boy Promotions, led by Hall-of-Famer Oscar De La Hoya, who knows a hot prospect when he sees one.
Lopes, who counts junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux as one of his boxing idols, eschewed the 2016 Olympics to start punching for pay.
In a recent interview, the confident boxer/puncher, who took up the sport at age 15, said he is ready to surpass the quality of his impressive amateur resume with an even more impressive professional one.
“I can box when I need to and I can fight when I need to,” said Lopes. “After my level of amateur experience and all my fights, I am very diverse. I’m very smooth; in fact, my team calls me ‘Sweet Pea,’ after the great Pernell Whitaker. I’m quite a puncher but I can also move like ‘Sweet Pea.’ Right now, Terence Crawford is the best in the world at lightweight. I want to box guys of that calibre very soon.”
While most promotional firms trumpet the potential of any new prospect they sign, the feeling regarding Lopes is he could be a legitimate blue-chipper who brings a wealth of experience, maturity and a strong skill set to the game.
The management and promotional team around Lopes, confident they have a “can’t miss” prospect on their hands, seem just as excited to see what his future in the pro game brings.
“He’s had an outstanding, well-decorated amateur career,” a representative has said, “and we fully believe he will have an equally outstanding professional career.”
* Well, it looks like it is finally going to happen! Fight fans were happy to read that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have finally agreed to fight and have both signed on for a May 2 date at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Expect almost daily coverage on every possible and conceivable angle on this mega-event leading up to fight night. Does the fight have any chance of living up to the pre-fight hype and expectations? We shall see.
* WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin had to work perhaps a little longer than expected but finally got England’s rugged Martin Murray out in 11 rounds, Saturday in Monte Carlo, Monaco. “GGG” has stopped 19 straight opponents and moved to 32-0 (29). Golovkin will now look to further unify but I doubt anyone at 160 is anxious to face him. His goal is a mega-bout against Miguel Cotto but the Puerto Rican star would have to be really well compensated to sign on to face that brand of assault.
* De La Hoya announced that the Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland fight will be held at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX. on May 9. Quick response is I like Alvarez in the fight but Kirkland is no walk in the park for anyone. James, call Ann Wolfe immediately.
* WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham retained his world title with a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision over Paul Smith in their rematch in Germany over the weekend.
* Unlike his bouts with Marcos Maidana, apparently the choice of gloves won’t be an issue with Floyd and Manny when they meet. Pacquiao is expected to punch into work with his normal Cleto Reyes gloves while Mayweather will use Grant gloves.
* The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame announced its 2015 inductees this week. Rich Marotta, the Hall’s founder and CEO, made the announcement Thursday at the Roy Jones Jr. Fight Academy in Las Vegas. The categories and recipients are as follows: Nevada-resident boxers: Roger Mayweather, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and the late Johnny Tapia. Non-Nevada resident boxers: Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Lennox Lewis, Marco Antonio Barrera, Felix Trinidad and Gene Fullmer. Pioneers: James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jack Johnson, Joe Gans and Tex Rickard. Non-boxer participants: Lee Samuels, Pat and Dawn Barry, Steve Sneddon, Dr. Donald Romeo, Chuck Hull and Dr. Robert Voy.
* Writing soundtrack for this week – the brand new album from The Mavericks, “Mono.” Fantastic from start to finish.
* Remembering a true champion! Hall of Famer and light heavyweight legend Harold Johnson passed this week. Flags were flying at half-mast at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY. in his honor. Rest in peace, Champ.