“I am just grateful and that’s what makes me train harder. I know other people don’t have that opportunity.” – Ricky Lopez
We watch our current boxing stars entertain us with the high level of skill it takes to compete in the sweet science, but once the fight is over, we talk about what impressed us, what didn’t and who will be the future of the sport. One such fighter new on the boxing scene is 24 year old Ricky Lopez with a record of , 7-1, 2 KO’s.
Lopez is scheduled to fight on the undercard of this year’s biggest fight of any combat sport: Floyd Mayweather, JR. vs. Victor Ortiz on September 17th live on HBO PPV from Las Vegas, Nevada.
MA: You had a hand injury that kept you off for a bit, what did that time off do to your mindset?
Basically between the knuckle and the finger there is cartilage, and I ran out of it… like it wore out I guess just over the years it just ran out. I have to get surgery, but for now I got a shot in it and I don’t feel anything. I will get surgery at the end of the year when there are no fights.
At first the time off frustrated me like I had no patience I was frustrated… I wanted to fight. After a while I learned to have patience and it made me hungry…made me want it even more. Taught me a few things about life, for sure it made me a stronger person.
MA: When can we see you in the ring again?
Hopefully on the Floyd Mayweather, JR. vs. Victor Ortiz undercard.
MA: Speaking of Floyd Mayweather, JR. vs. Victor Ortiz, Floyd keeps talking about how there is no blueprint/greenprint to beat him, but what weakness do you see in Floyd that can be exploited by Victor?
Well, Floyd always says the bigger- stronger fighter doesn’t matter to him. But Victor is a big south paw that’s for one, and Floyd has trouble fighting southpaws. Another thing is Victor is a good body puncher and he throws very short shots and no one has really gone to the body with Floyd or thrown short punches at him. I honestly think Victor is going be the hardest puncher Floyd has ever fought. I see Victor going to the body and slowing him down. Floyd has never been hit by a guy like Victor: a big solid lefty that can pressure him. Usually people when they go into the ring with Floyd, they are already beat mentally. Floyd gets into everyone’s head, but Victor is a kind of person who doesn’t care who he is fighting it doesn’t matter at all. Victor has that title and he wants to keep it for a while.
MA: When you first moved to LA what were your impressions of California?
I loved it. Nobody was negative. Everybody showed me love and appreciated what I have done, it’s a different world. The Mexican boxing fans are so loyal; nobody is jealous and appreciates you. That’s what I like about California.
MA: You went to Oxnard to train with Robert Garcia is that correct?
MA: Have you trained with him in the past?
I trained with Robert a few times when I was an amateur, but not as a pro. I trained with his brother/Victor’s team Danny Garcia and Mario that’s who I was mostly with.
MA: Typical day with Danny, without giving out any secrets?
Danny is a really smart and talented coach. He comes up with good game plans and he makes sure you train hard – really disciplined. He takes you to the track in the morning to go running. Danny is really honest in the gym and makes sure he is right there while you are hitting the bag. Watching while I hit the speed bag, he is right next to you the whole time. He gives you confidence and makes you train harder. Danny is a good coach.
MA: Is it true that you have gone surfing?
Man that was the worst time of my life. First of all, I am not a surfer. Second of all I can’t swim. I can doggy paddle for five seconds and I start sinking. Victor comes up with the idea to go surfing. I was like “man I don’t know how to swim.” Victor says “just try it the waves are not going to be that big.” I reply “alright.” I get the surf board and I get into the ocean. Man, he was lying, those waves were big as shit that day. I couldn’t even get waist deep because the waves kept on pushing me back. I said “I am not doing this, I am cool.” Victor is out there surfing. I was like; “I don’t know what is underneath me. I may drown; I need some floaties or a life jacket.”
You know that strap that connects to your ankle and the surfboard? Well, Victor grabs the surfboard and he drags me into the ocean because the strap is on my ankle. I am telling Victor to chill out. He said “Nah, I got you.” He tells me to lay on the surfboard. So I am pretty deep in the ocean. He tells me to wait till the waves start coming and start peddling and get right on top of it. So, I start peddling, and the wave came. I rode a little bit of it and I just eat shit. I wiped out. I told him I am not doing this anymore. I am out dog. Everybody is laughing at me at the beach, it was crazy. I will never do that again (huge laughter).
MA: Being signed with Golden Boy also comes with high expectations of you in this sport; sometimes it’s like having a bull’s-eye for other fighters who want to beat you. Do you feel the pressure?
No, I don’t really feel the pressure. I am just grateful and that’s what makes me train harder. I know other people don’t have that opportunity. I don’t feel any pressure if people are coming after me. They can come after me all they want. No one is going to beat me. I just keep level headed and I train hard – always think positive. That’s pretty much it.
MA: Thank you for speaking with RSR any final message to our readers?
I want to thank everybody, with my time off, who believe in me and still believe in me. I am going be a World Champion very soon. Thanks to my entire team and everybody in this sport and for people to follow me on twitter; twitter.com/#!/rickylopez87. Thank you and God bless you.
Division: super bantamweight
Professional Record: 7-1, 2 KO’s
2010-07-09 Derrick Wilson Denver, Colorado L MD 6 6
2010-02-25 Hugo Ramos Los Angeles, California W UD 4 4
2009-08-27 John Wampash Los Angeles, California W UD 4 4
2009-07-30 Eder Peralta Los Angeles, California W UD 4 4
2009-06-11 Rufino Serrano Los Angeles, California W UD 4 4
2009-04-04 Felipe Ramirez Austin, Texas W SD 4 4
2008-05-23 Jesus Garza Loveland, Colorado W TKO 1 4
2008-05-09 Nick Arellano Albuquerque, New Mexico W KO 4 4