Lopez pummels Molina in eighth-round stoppage

LOS ANGELES -- In the opening bout of the FOX pay-per-view featuring welterweight world titleholders Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Josesito Lopez had no issues in dismantling John Molina in eight one-sided rounds.

Lopez knocked down Molina twice in the first round and once more in the seventh round. After evaluations from the ringside doctor and the referee, Molina was allowed to box into the eighth. However, Lopez pummeled him again, and the referee stepped in to secure the eighth-round knockout.

Lopez (37-8, 20 KO's), 35, of Riverside, California, a former two-time world title challenger, dropped Molina with a vicious right hand to start the fight, sending the crowd wild. Molina got up, but "Riverside Rocky" stepped on the gas again, connecting with combinations to the head and the body, and landed with a left hook downstairs that floored Molina again.

"We both carry power in our hands, so it wasn't a surprise someone went down. It easily could have happened to me with the power he has. I was able to catch him early, find openings and get the finish," Lopez said. "I'm a top 10-level fighter. I'm going to give any fighter and any world champion a run for their money. I want memorable fights, and I want the best.

Lopez lost a majority decision to then-unbeaten welterweight world titleholder Keith Thurman in January, and nearly stopped him in the seventh.

“It was an honor to fight Keith Thurman last fight and I'd love to fight him again. I want all big challenges and all the titles.”

The key for Lopez throughout the bout was his jab. He repeatedly snapped Molina's head back with the punch and nailed him consistently with straight right hands.

In the fourth round, Lopez did a great job at keeping his distance from Molina, who was consistently falling short with his punches. Molina, however, landed with a solid counter overhand right at the end of the round, but Lopez was still outclassing him.

Lopez kicked off the fifth by immediately popping Molina back with his jab. Late in the round, Lopez wobbled Molina with a hard left hook.

In the seventh round, Lopez dropped Molina with a four-punch combination. The referee took a long look at Molina before allowing him to continue.

In the corner, the ringside doctor and the referee had a long conversation with Molina, warning him that if he took additional punishment, that the fight would be stopped. Molina's corner did not protest, and the bout continued into the eighth. However, Lopez went right back to business.

Lopez pounded Molina right away to start the round, and referee Ray Corona quickly stepped in to halt the action.

"I wanted to keep going at the end. I thought I was still coherent and could still move well. But you can't go against what the referees say," Molina said.

Lopez has won four of his last five fights since losing a secondary welterweight world title bout by sixth-round TKO against Andre Berto.

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