1988-07-27 Tony Lopez w pts 12 Rocky Lockridge, Arco Arena, Sacramento, California, USA - IBF
1988-07-27 Tony Lopez w pts 12 Rocky Lockridge, Arco Arena, Sacramento, California, USA - IBF. Referee: Robert Byrd. Scorecards: 115-112, 115-112, 116-112. In one of the most exciting fights of the year, Lockridge (128) not only finished with cuts over both eyes which required 42 stitches but also lost his title to Lopez (129¾), who somehow got up from a heavy eighth-round knockdown. Prior to that round Lopez had appeared to be in front, using the jab to keep Lockridge at distance, although the, champion was still working the body well. It was a heavy right to the head that put Lopez down, and while it took time for him to recover he was up and running by the tenth, taking the last three rounds as Lockridge, having difficulty managing his cuts, was staggered on several occasions.
Although the IBF were not due to limit world title fights to 12 rounds until 1 September, because the State of California did not permit 15-round contests at that time special dispensation was given. From there on in all world title fights in the weight class would be contested over that distance.