On this day in 1978, Victor Galindez retained the WBA light heavyweight title via hotly disputed decision over Yaqui Lopez. It was a rematch of their September 1977 title fight, which Galindez had also won by controversial decision.
The late 1970s and early 1980s was a true golden era in the light heavyweight division and Galindez and Lopez were key players in the action. It was impossible to avoid tough fights in that era at 175-pounds due to the high volume of quality fighters in the division.
Lopez came out of grinding poverty. He was born in a bullring and lived the first 14 years of his life underneath the seats of a bullfighting stadium. He dreamed of becoming a matador, but had his ankle crushed by a bull’s horn and turned to boxing instead.
After a very brief amateur career he turned professional, where his hard-nosed, rugged style was effective and crowd-pleasing. At 6’3”, he had an ideal frame for a light heavyweight slugger.
Lopez is arguably the greatest light heavyweight to never win a world title. He also lost a controversial decision to John Conteh in October 1976, in his first bid for a world championship. In 1980, he lost by TKO to Matthew Saad Muhammad in a Ring Magazine’s choice for Fight of the Year.
Galindez represent his native Argentina in the 1968 Olympics. After middleweight legend Carlos Monzon, Galindez was the finest Argentine fight of his generation. He won the vacant WBA title by stopping Len Hutchins in 13 rounds in December 1974.
Prior to his two-fight series with Lopez, he fought a great two-fight series with Richie Kates, winning both bouts. In between his two battles with Lopez, he managed to squeeze in a victory over the tough Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, in November 1977.
Galindez lost the title to Mike Rossman in September 1978, then won it back in April 1979. He lost it for good to Marvin Johnson in November 1979. Johnson would later lose the belt to Mustafa Muhammad.
Both Lopez and Galindez lost by stoppage to Michael Spinks, the clear-cut No. 1 star of this great light heavyweight era.