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Local boxer prepares for first pro fight CORPUS CHRISTI -

A former Moody athlete is getting ready for his professional boxing debut. Two-time State Golden Gloves Champ Alfonso "El Tigre" Lopez will open up the undercard for Saturday's Evander Holyfield fight against San Antonio's Juan Garcia.

Turning pro is serious business for Lopez, and he said there's no better place to start than right here at home.

Lopez played football and baseball at Moody before playing football for Sam Houston State. He already has a degree and a silver medal from the USA Boxing National Championships.

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On March 17, 2007 Corpus Christi, will welcome home her native son , Alfonso "El Tigre" Lopez III as he returns to launch his professional career as a boxer. He will fight on the under card of the Evander Holyfield vs. Vinny Maddallone. To recap on Alfonso's life story, he was born in Corpus Christi, Texas on May 16, 1982. He grew up playing and watching all sports, but who would have known that the backyard boxing matches with friends and cousins would foreshadow his future?

At Foy H Moody H.S. Alfonso enjoyed playing football. His senior year he was awarded All-District, All-Metro, and Honorable Mention All-State honors. He was also a member of the Moody Trojans baseball team. After high school, Alfonso attended Sam Houston State University and walked on to their football team as a red-shirt freshman linebacker for the 2000-2001 season. He was drawn to boxing after a second round knock out in his first amateur fight at a Sigma Chi Fight Night in 2001. Felix Ramirez coaching him that night invited Alfonso to train at the Cut N Shoot boxing gym. This is when history began making its mark. During Alfonso's amateur career he achieved quick success with only two amateur bouts he entered the open division of the Houston Golden Gloves and six fights later he was the reigning Texas Champion with only eight total career bouts. To prove it was no fluke he was a repeat winner in 2006. He also won the USA Men's State Championship in 2006; which advanced him to the USA National Championships at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Here he defeated three of the top five nationally ranked boxers. He ended the tournament with a silver metal in the Light-Heavyweight division and is now nationally ranked as one of the top five boxers in the U.S.

With his wife and daughter by his side and accomplishing the promise to his mother and himself to receive a college degree, Alfonso has now decided to carry out his childhood character of being a "World Champion." He will do this with the guidance and support of his family, his trainer; Henry Harris, the entire Cut N Shoot boxing family, and the man who first saw Alfonso's gift; Felix Ramirez.

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