- Who: Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez
- What: IBF Featherweight Title Fight
- Date: Friday, September 15, 2023
- Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
- Location: American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas
- How to Watch: ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+
On Friday, September 15, 2023, Luis Alberto Lopez defends his IBF belt against former two-time title challenger Joet Gonzalez at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. The fight marks the first North American bout for the Mexican champion since he won the title in December 2022 and defended it in May of this year. Gonzalez, who fights out of California, last competed in April in Oklahoma. Here is some background information before we look at the betting breakdown for the upcoming IBF featherweight title fight.
Luis Alberto Lopez (28-2 with 16 knockouts) has not lost since he dropped a decision to Ruben Villa in 2019. The 30-year-old won the title with a majority decision over Josh Warrington. He defended his belt with a fifth-round TKO of Michael Conlan. The Ring has Lopez rated No. 1 in the featherweight division.
Joet Gonzalez (26-3 with 15 KOs) opened his career on a 23-0 run. His first loss came in October 2019 when Shakur Stevenson beat him by decision for the vacant WBO featherweight title. In 2021, after defeating Miguel Marriaga, Gonzalez got a second shot at that belt. He dropped a decision to Emanuel Navarrete. Since then, the 29-year-old is 2-1 with wins over Jeo Santisima and Enrique Vivas. His loss came to Isaac Dogboe. Gonzalez is unrated by The Ring.
Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez betting picks
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Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez betting breakdown
While Joet Gonzalez is not rated by The Ring, the WBO has him as its No. 1 ranked featherweight. He is No. 9 with the WBA and unrated by the WBC. Meanwhile, the IBF, where Luis Alberto Lopez is the reigning champ, has Gonzalez at No. 13. Despite the incoungruity of those ratings, Gonzalez is getting his third crack at a 126-pound title. If Gonzalez falls short against Lopez, his road back to another title shot could be arduous.
Lopez is a fast starter who throws his punches with a lot of power. He employs a lot of forward pressure, and his opponents have found it hard to shake his confidence or force him to change his approach once the fight has begun. The champ uses powerful punches to stun and close distance, and once he’s in close, Lopez unloads with uppercuts that can end fights if they find their mark. If there’s a knock against Lopez, it’s that he loads up, especially with his right hooks, and gives his foes a chance to beat him to the punch or counter those wide blows. He also tends to use a lot of energy thanks to his power punching technique, but that has not hurt him during his 11-fight winning streak.
Gonzalez is a capable fighter, but he’s one step below the best of the best in the featherweight division. It’s somewhat of a surprise to see him in a third title fight in under three years, especially since his most recent loss came to Isaac Dogboe in what was a title eliminator. Nonetheless, Gonzalez has enough talent and heart to make this an entertaining fight, but his only chance to win is the proverbial puncher’s chance.
Betting value for Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez
With Lopez being a significant betting favorite, the betting value in this fight is to either go with Gonzalez to get the upset victory or to look at prop bets on how and when the contest will end. Gonzalez picking up the upset is a good value bet, but it’s dangerous and unlikely to pay off.
As for the fight’s outcome, Gonzalez is a tough fighter. He has never been knocked out, and while Lopez has the power to stop anyone, I’m not sure he’ll be able to get Gonzalez out of the fight early. If there is a knockout, it’s likely to come in the second half of the battle, which is scheduled for 12 rounds
Best Bets for Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez
While the betting odds might not make this an attractive fight for those wishing to make a straight bet for Lopez to win, the matchup should be an entertaining one for fans and give those who think Gonzalez can convert his puncher’s chance to a victory a reason to place a value bet on the challenger. My best bet, despite the lopsided betting odds, is to pick Lopez to win by either decision or knockout in the second half of the fight.
Best bet for Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez: Luis Alberto Lopez to win and retain his IBF featherweight title.
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