Danny Lopez (born
July 6, 1952) is an American former boxer. He was a world champion
at featherweight, and a very popular fighter both in television and
Southern California during the 1970s. His nickname is Little Red.
is of Ute Indian, Mexican, and Irish heritage. He had been moved from
one foster home to another, and coming off a Ute Indian Reservation
in Utah, he finally found a home in Southern California. He is also
the brother of welterweight contender Ernie Lopez. He is married to
Bonnie Lopez and has three sons, Bronson, Jeremy, and Dylan.
Lopez began boxing professionally on May 27, 1971, knocking
out Steve Flajole in one round at Los Angeles. He won his first 21
fights in a row by knockout, in one of the longest knockout win streaks
ever. During that streak, all but one of his fights were in Los Angeles,
a fact which could be credited for his popularity in the area. The
only one of his fights among those 21 fights outside Los Angeles took
place in Honolulu, where he beat Ushiwakamaru Harada by a knockout
On Juanuary 17, 1974 Genzo Kurosaw became the first
person to go the distance with Lopez, Lopez winning by a ten round
decision. His next fight, a month later, in Mexicali, Mexico, was
his first fight abroad. He beat Memo Rodriguez by a knockout in nine
People in Los Angeles were eager to see Lopez
and another up-and-coming Angelino, Bobby Chacon, square off inside
a ring. The fight took place on May 24, and Lopez was knocked out
in the ninth round in a thrilling fight. In his next fight of note,
he lost once again by a knockout in round nine, this time to Shig
After defeating Ocatvio Gomez to begin 1975, Lopez
went on a roll: He began by beating Chucho Castillo by a knockout
in two rounds. Two more wins, and he was faced with Ruben Olivares,
whom he beat by a knockout in seven rounds, after recovering from
a first round knockdown himself.
In 1976, he beat Sean O'Grady
by knockout in four, Gomez by knockout in three and Art Hafey by knockout
in seven. Finally ranked number one by the WBC, he travelled to Ghana
to challenge world Featherweight champion David Kotei in front of
an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 Kotei partisans. Lopez became
world champion by outpointing Kotie over 15 rounds on November 6.
This trip proved to be troublesome for the new champion, however:
back in his hotel room, he tried to call his family in the United
States to announce the good news, but all communication systems had
been cut down in Ghana. Lopez then tried to send them a telegram through
the American embassy in Accra, but they too were affected ty the system
failure and could not get his message through. Lopez's family was
finally able to realize that Danny was a world champion when they
picked him up at the airport one week later.
Lopez won three
fights in 1977, retaining the title once, against Jose Torres by a
knockout in round seven.
He and Kotei had a rematch on February
15 of 1978, as part of the undercard where Leon Spinks dethroned Muhammad
Ali of the world Heavyweight title. Lopez knocked Kotei out in round
six of their rematch, and then he retained the title against Jose
DePaula by knockout in round six, and Juan Malvares (on the undercard
where Ali regained the title from Spinks) by knockout in two. On October
21, he had a fight with Fel Clemente, against whom he retained the
world title with a four round disqualification in Italy.
end of 1978, there was much talk of a super-fight against world Jr.
Featherweight champion Wilfredo Gomez, but the bout never materialized.