Najee Lopez: ‘I Can’t Even Express How I Feel Winning This Battle’

Najee Lopez found himself in ProBox TV classic

Lopez outpointed Marcos Escudero in the co-main event from the ProBox TV Events Center in Plant City, Florida and Lopez (10-0, 8 KOs), a 24-year-old light heavyweight, was tested. 

Escudero (14-3, 12 KOs), a 30-year-old veteran, pushed a pace on Lopez that had not been seen before. Entering the bout, the experience showed on paper – but might have been overlooked given how good Lopez has looked as a pro. Escudero had gone 61 rounds, Lopez had only gone 26. 

After the fight, Lopez sporting a swollen right eye, talked to the ProBox TV broadcast crew of Mike Goldberg, Paulie Malignaggi and Chris Algieri. 

“I love what I do, I love this sport,” said Lopez. “I want to thank Marcos…He came to win, he came to f****** knock me out.”

Lopez, who is trained by Marc Farriat, the same coach as Edgar Berlanga, trained beside the super middleweight contender for this camp. 

It was Lopez’s first 10-round fight. Berlanga was in the ring next to him only a few days after he had fought prior in Orlando, where he defeated Padraig McCrory. Escudero didn’t care who stood beside Lopez. He was there for a fight. 

What looked to be a stern test for Lopez turned into an exam that Lopez passed.

“I can’t even express how I feel winning this battle,” he added.

Lopez not just won the fight, but edged a tough mental battle. Escudero applied a lot of psychological and physical pressure to create discomfort in the second half of the fight. Lopez had never gone more than six rounds, here he went 10 rounds with a fighter who could work every minute of every round. Not just did he have to overcome adversity, he had to overcome a swollen eye from a punch. 

Talking about Escudero’s experience, Lopez continued: “He had been there [to the later rounds] before.”