Two-time Olympian Everton Lopes (1-0) will fight for the second time as a professional on the undercard of the April 2 edition of Golden Boy Promotions’ “LA Fight Club” at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, California.
The scheduled six-round Lightweight fight will begin Fox Sports 1’s televised coverage of the event and will mark Lopes’ debut on American television, despite only beginning his professional career just a little over a month ago.
The 26-year-old Brazilian boasts an exceptional amateur career of 250 fights, including wins at the Pan American Games and the World Amateur Championships.
Lopes knows his stellar amateur background will help him as a professional, but also realizes that it is a different game.
“It’s different because in an amateur fight, it’s more about scoring points. In a professional fight, it’s more about landing punches, being forceful and about hurting your opponent, and I really like that,” said Lopes with a bit of a smile on his face.
Lopes welcomes the increased reliance on aggression and power, something that isn’t always appreciated or effective in the amateurs, but also knows the increased risks.
“If you don’t hit, they’ll hit you,” said Lopes.
Lopes is now training with Manny Robles, whose stable includes fellow Olympians Oscar Valdez, Jay Quigley and Marcus Browne.
Lopes made his debut earlier this year with his new team on February 27 at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, where he was able to test his amateur skills–and his power–in a professional fight against Evan Woosley.
I was back stage with another fighter and saw firsthand how he prepared before beginning his first professional fight.
Lopes was ready to go for more than an hour before heading to the ring. By the time I got there, his hands had already been wrapped and his shorts were on.
Lopes was relaxed the entire time before he and his team made their way to the ring. There is a tension
that can be easily felt in the backstage area as fighters get prepared, but Lopes did not look worried before heading out.
From backstage, things were still fairly quiet as it often is during the first few fights of the night.
Then, suddenly, a loud thud came from the ring as the crowd that had already arrived began to make noise. I immediately ran to see what was happening.
In the very first round, Lopes dropped Woosley with a straight left hand and almost put the fight to an early end.
Woosley, despite being seriously hurt, got back to his feet to finish the fight, although at the price of running into several more powerful left and right hands in the process.
Lopes, however, was prepared for a long fight and gave as much credit to his oponent.
“I was thinking that I was going to do the six rounds because he was prepared. I can’t think that I’ll knock him out—I have to be prepared to fight six rounds,” said Lopes.
“That’s just what happens in a fight. If I knock him down or if I win by knockout—all that happens in a fight. But certainly, I wanted to win by knockout,” said Lopes.
With the experience Lopes has, a world title in his future may be on option. Fighters such as Guillermo Rigondeaux, with an amateur record of several hundred fights, have fought for a world title with fewer than 10 fights.
In the even crazier exception, Vasyl Lomachenko fought for a world title in his second and third fights, winning in his second try with a decisive victory over Gary Russell Jr.
“With the experience I have, with the desire I have, and with the desire my team has. Why not?,” says Lopes when asked about possibly fighting for a title in the near future, the way previous Olympians have.
Lopes is already fighting six-round fights and eight-rounders seem to already be on the horizon.
But for now, the young fighter will have to first make his first appearance on TV to test out his experience for a second time.