Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez Odds, Pick & Prediction: Back the Featherweight Champ Friday (September 15)
Charles McQuillan/Getty Images. Pictured: Boxer Luis Alberto Lopez
Luis Alberto Lopez vs. Joet Gonzalez Odds
Luis Alberto Lopez has a real case for being best featherweight in the world. "Venado" Lopez (28-2, 16 KOs) is defending his IBF world featherweight crown against former world title challenger Joet Gonzalez (26-3, 15 KOs) on Friday night on ESPN (10 p.m. ET) in a clash between two Mexican stars in honor of Mexican Independence Day weekend.
Lopez won his IBF featherweight title in shocking fashion against then-undefeated Brit Josh Warrington last December, when Lopez went to Leeds in the United Kingdom – Warrington's home – and boxed his way to a stunning majority-decision victory, which honestly should've been unanimous.
Warrington opened as a -1100 favorite and closed at around -140.
Lopez survived a second-round cut from a headbutt, as well as many uncalled rabbit punches, to squeeze out a nearly stolen road decision win. More impressively, he absolutely obliterated former Top Rank favorite Michael Conlan, once primed to be a star from Ireland, this past May in Belfast.
Conlan was caught by an incredible right uppercut that ended the fight immediately as his corner quickly threw in the towel.
Gonzalez is the classic safe contender, perception-wise. He's a guy who is credible enough to get a title bout, but as promoter, you're perfectly good with setting up your guy against him because he hasn't been that much of a threat at the world level.
That's the mold Gonzalez is trying to break out of for this bout as he stands at 0-for-2 in his bid to be a world champion after losing to Shakur Stevenson and Emanuel Navarette by wide unanimous decisions in 2019 and 2021.
Lopez vs. Gonzalez Fight Analysis
Physically, Gonzalez has a bigger advantage here despite being such a big underdog, which we'll get to shortly.
Gonzalez, at 5-foot-6 with a 70-inch reach, will have the outside edge against the smaller Lopez, who is 5-foot-4 with a 66.5-inch reach.
Will it matter? I'd say Lopez has the power edge, and while both have a decent amount of knockouts, I wouldn't say either is rivaling Deontay Wilder in terms of finishing ability.
Lopez has had a few highlight-reel stoppages within the last two years and is seemingly building a reputation as a power puncher, but save for Conlan – who was knocked out once previously – he hasn't finished another featherweight of true note.
Gonzalez hasn't either unless we're including Jeo Santisima, who he stopped in the ninth round in their bout in March 2022, which, OK … I guess.
Ultimately, Lopez has many of the key advantages, and he is the better fighter. I do think he could get a bit careless defensively at times, but I'm not sure Gonzalez will muster enough to make him pay in a dire way outside of a few moments.
Lopez vs. Gonzalez Bet
Lopez is overvalued at -900 but should win this fight.
I flirted with the idea of a Gonzalez upset, and while I don't think Lopez is nearly as overwhelming as Stevenson and Navarette, I do think he'll box his way to victory and will be too much for the tough Gonzalez.
My pick is for Venado Lopez to win by decision, which is +100 at FanDuel. I also like for the bout to go to distance at -156, and whatever the over is for the over/under, which isn't out yet as of this writing.
Lopez has power, and I may put in a bet for him to score a knockdown against Gonzalez. But Gonzalez has three losses, all by decision, including to Navarette. The KO is certainly possible, but I think this goes all 12 rounds with Lopez getting his hand raised.
Enjoy the fight and don't go broke!
The Pick: Venado Lopez via decision (+100 at FanDuel)