1991-03-15 Brian Mitchell drew 12 Tony Lopez, Arco Arena, Sacramento, California, USA - WBA/IBF
1991-03-15 Brian Mitchell drew 12 Tony Lopez, Arco Arena, Sacramento, California, USA - WBA/IBF. Referee: Lou Filippo. Scorecards: 115-113, 114-115, 115-115. In a battle to unify part of the title between Mitchell (129), the WBA champion, and Lopez (129), his IBF counterpart, the crowd were treated to a fight that would be talked about for a long time as both men gave it everything. Lopez, carrying the bigger punch and using the jab to advantage, was well equipped to win, but with Mitchell standing doggedly in front of him and getting his shots off from both hands, despite being cut over the right eye in the fifth, it was probably a fair decision as neither had fully stamped their authority on the contest.
Mitchell relinquished the WBA version of the title in April to avoid a mandatory challenger in order to go in search of the IBF crown and a rematch with Lopez. Following this, Joey Gamache and Jerry Ngobeni were matched for the vacant title.