2001-09-29 Ricardo Lopez w co 8 Zolani Petelo, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - IBF

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2001-09-29 Ricardo Lopez w co 8 Zolani Petelo, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - IBF. Referee: Arthur Mercante. Despite being unable to penetrate the champion’s defences, Petelo (107¾) made a game showing against a man recognised as one of the best fighters around. As early as the second round Petelo had been hammered to the canvas by a left hook, but somehow kept going until Lopez (107) caught up with him again and nailed him with a right-left in the eighth, this time for keeps after the referee had counted the South African out on the 1.32 mark.

After Lopez announced his retirement from boxing in December 2002, the IBF matched Jose Victor Burgos and Alex Sanchez to contest the vacant title.