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Starting Comeback Bid, Curry Stops Lopez in Fourth Round

December 09, 1987|STEVE SPRINGER | Times Staff Writer

Donald Curry came back Tuesday night. But how far remains to be seen.

In his first appearance since being demolished by a Mike McCallum left hook in July, Curry, former undisputed welterweight champion, stopped Rigoberto Lopez of San Diego at 1:54 of the fourth round of their scheduled 10-round main event at The Country Club in Reseda.

The fight was a tuneup for Curry's scheduled bout next month in Italy against Lupe Aquino, with the winner to fight for the World Boxing Council junior middleweight title. But it took the 26-year-old Curry, who lives in Fort Worth, awhile to begin operating on all cylinders Tuesday. The months of inactivity showed in the early rounds.

"My timing was off," Curry admitted, "and I was trying too hard. I was there to work some of the rust off. But Lopez was elusive, awkward, hard to catch."

Curry, 28-2 with 20 knockouts, caught Lopez a little over a minute into the fourth round with a solid left to the body. Lopez crumpled to the floor but managed to get back to his feet.

Curry moved in and again delivered a solid body shot, this time smashing his left into Lopez's right ribs. Again Lopez crumpled to the floor.

This time, referee John Thomas signaled Lopez had had enough.

Lopez, who dropped to 19-6 with 8 knockouts, didn't agree.

"He didn't hit half as hard as Lupe Aquino, whom I've sparred with," Lopez said. "I've fought tougher guys, a lot tougher. Curry's not strong. He's just a blown up welterweight."

Both men weighed 155 for the junior middleweight bout.

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