Wilberth Lopez has faced unbeaten fighters and contenders throughout his four-year pro career.
While he has always given a good account of himself in the ring, Lopez has lost to these opponents, never catching a break that could give his career a boost.
That might have changed on Friday night.
Lopez may have been the underdog against fringe contender Jose Roman, but was in command the entire fight, winning an eight round unanimous decision at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California.
The southpaw Lopez (19-8, 13 knockouts) easily picked Roman apart during the first half of the fight, landing lead or counter left hands to the head of Roman. Lopez looked comfortable and confident in walking Roman down during the middle rounds, while Roman looked befuddled.
Sensing he was down in the fight, Roman (24-2-1, 16 KOs) closed the distance between the two fighters, pressing the action and initiating exchanges. Roman rarely connected anything flush to the head, save for an occasional right cross, but it was Lopez who again made Roman pay by landing a series of left hands to the head.
Scores were 78-74, 79-73, and 80-72 for Lopez, who has faced and recently lost to Alex Saucedo, Ivan Baranchyk, and Juan Ruiz.
In the co-feature, featherweight prospect Ruben Villa dominated veteran Ernesto Guerrero over six rounds to win a decision.
The southpaw Villa (8-0, 4 KOs), who has two amateur victories over Shakur Stevenson, mixed his attack to the head and body of Guerrero behind a consistent jab. Guerrero (27-21, 19 KOs) came to fight but did not have the offensive firepower to keep up with Villa.
All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Villa, who resides in Salinas, California.
Welterweight Juan Ruiz (20-0, 12 KOs) remained unbeaten with a one-sided decision over Erick Martinez (14-9-1, 8 KOs). All three judges scored the bout 80-72 in favor of Ruiz, who is originally from Venezuela and currently resides in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.
Unbeaten lightweight Michael Dutchover (6-0, 4 KOs), who is 19 years of age, dropped Carlos Flores (4-6-1, 3 KOs) once en route to a unanimous decision over four rounds. All three judges scored the bout 40-35 in favor of Dutchover.
Francisco A. Salazar has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and Boxingscene.com. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing