Ricardo Finito Lopez vs. Alex Sanchez

wbc/wbo minimumweight title unification 8/23/97 Madison Square Garden, New York

On August 23, 1997, WBC minimumweight champion Ricardo López won the WBO minimumweight title by knocking out Puerto Rican fighter Alex Sánchez. After the bout, López told a Mexican newspaper that he wanted to give his newly won championship belt to his father, who is a boxing fan. WBO president Francisco Varcarcel said he viewed that comment as a public resignation and declared the title vacant without holding a hearing or notifying López. The WBO sanctioned a bout between Eric Jamili (10-5-1) and Mickey Cantwell (13-4-1) to fill the vacancy despite protests by López.