By Brian Webber: Luis Alberto Lopez has requested the IBF to allow him to bypass his featherweight mandatory challenger Reiya Abe to face WBO 126-lb champion Robeisy Ramirez in a unification fight next.
Considering that Lopez & the two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy are both promoted by Top Rank, this should be an easy one to put together. Both champions want the fight, and that helps.
Fans have a tremendous amount of interest to see the unbeaten IBF 126-lb champion Luis Alberto Lopez (29-0, 16 KOs) face WBO champ Robeisy (13-1,8 KOs) next. Robeisy will likely toy with Lopez and make him look bad.
Moving forward, Robeisy needs to consider moving up to 130 & 135 if he wants to get the higher-level fights to become a star, as the 126-lb division is as dead as they come. Staying at 126 is a pure waste for Robeisy once he gets past Lopez.
It’s not worth it for him to stay to fight the other two featherweight champions, Rey Vargas or Leigh Wood, because these guys aren’t household names in the U.S., and the fans won’t tune in if he sticks around at 126 to face them.
It’ll be up to the International Boxing Federation to decide whether they’ll allow Lopez to bypass little-known #1 IBF Reiya Abe (25-3-1,10 KOs) to fight Robeisy instead.
It’s unclear why the IBF made Reiya mandatory to Lopez, as the only notable name on the Japanese fighter’s ten-year pro resume is 37-year-old Kiko Martinez, who had recently been knocked out by Josh Warrington and beaten by British domestic-level fighter Zelfa Barrett.
Lopez looked awful in his recent fight against Joet Gonzalez on September 15th, gassing out after six rounds and barely holding on in the second half to get the win.
For Lopez. He’s shown serious issues with his stamina in two of his last three fights. In his win over Josh Warrington last December, Lopez faded badly in the second half and won a razor-close 12 round majority decision.
Lopez is basically a six-round fighter and not well-suited for twelve round fights. At 30, that’s probably not going to change, as he is what he is.
Robeisy will take advantage of Lopez’s poor gas tank to win an easy decision and possibly knock him out. The skill advantage that Robeisy has over Lopez is huge, and this is going to be another easy fight for the Cuban talent.
If Robeisy can move up to 135, he can face Shakur Stevenson in a rematch of their 2016 Olympic final. That’s the one where Robeisy schooled Shakur and had him sobbing in an odd-looking tear-less cry afterward.
In Robeisy’s last fight, he stopped Satoshi Shimizu in the fifth round last July in a sparkling performance against the little-known fighter.
Luis Alberto Lopez has now officially requested special permission from the IBF to try and negotiate an IBF & WBO featherweight world title unification fight vs Robeisy Ramirez next, rather than defend vs mandatory challenger Reiya Abe.
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) September 21, 2023