By Douglas Ward
Inspiring Story of Boxing Legend Danny Lopez
The auburn red hair. The long sideburns. The mustache. The steely-eyed stare. All tucked up under an Indian headdress and punctuated with a right hand that put countless victims to sleep.
Danny "Little Red" Lopez looked the part of a prizefighter and embodied the stereotype of his combined Mexican, Irish and Ute Indian heritage. He had the will and skill to come forward taking punishment and dish it out in spades, like Mexican fighters are known to do. He was quick to brawl, like most Irishmen have the reputation for. With a trace of American Indian blood pumping in his veins, he had no fear of going into battle and fighting for what was rightfully his, whether it was a championship belt or the ground he was standing on.
While some fighters find a way to survive in the trenches, Danny "Little Red" Lopez thrived there. Because of his fan-friendly, come-right to you-at-you style, he became a popular fixture at the famed Olympic Auditorium and throughout California, where he won his first 19 fights. He also won his first 21 pro bouts by knockout. It’s one of the longest knockout streaks in boxing history.
Danny experienced setback losses to Bobby Chacon, Shig Fukuyama and Octavio Gomez. But his impressive knockouts of Ruben Olivares, Sean O'Grady and a rematch win over Octavio Gomez led to his grueling, 15-round decision victory over David Kotey for the WBC Featherweight title. These fights demonstrated his fearless approach to facing the best in a division deep with talent. His back-to-back losses to the late, great Salvador Sanchez provided some of the most brutal rounds in sweet science history. Both were toe-to-toe battles that put both fighters on display, laid their hearts open and showed boxing fans what real warriors are made of.
"Little Red" ended his career with a record of 42-6 (39 KOs) and a Legacy as one of the most electrifying, crowd-pleasing fighters of all-time.
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