“Being selected for the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame means a lot to me. For me, it’s a big honor because it shows the people in my hometown appreciate all the hard work I've put in during my career. I appreciate the people in Sacramento voting for me and recognizing me for what I accomplished. It’s very special to be honored in my hometown.”
High School: Burbank
* 3 Time World Champion
* 2 Time IBF Super Featherweight Champion
* WBA Lightweight Champion
* Career record: 50-8-1, 34 KO
Tony “The Tiger” Lopez is the son of a former boxer who learned to use his talents to defend himself and others while growing up in Sacramento. While in the gym with his younger brother Tony was discovered for his raw talents and was soon developed into one of the elite amateur boxers in the country. He turned pro in 1983 with an impressive KO in the first minute of the first round. Tony’s second professional fight was at Memorial Auditorium. Hank Renner, famous Sacramento ring announcer and voice of Big Time Wrestling, gave Tony a shocking ring introduction that night. To the surprise of Tony and the crowd, he announces: Tony “The Tiger” Lopez. The fans loved it and the new nickname has stuck ever since.
Tony is a three time World Boxing Champion and is known as Sacramento’s most notable and recognizable boxer. Tony was a warrior in the ring and known for outstanding punching power and exciting fights every time he stepped into the ring. His fights were the highest grossing bouts in the history of Sacramento as he fought some classic matches at the Memorial Auditorium and Arco Arena.
He is remembered for his two victories over Rocky Lockridge, including the 1988 “Ring Fight of the Year” which was televised nationally. In October of 1992 he beat Joey Gamache for the WBA Lightweight title. Other notable victories included two wins over John John Molina, Tyrone Jackson, Jorge Paez, Joey Gamache, Dingaan Thobela and Greg Haugen. Tony fought some of the toughest fighters in the history of the sport including a war with six time World Champion and Hall of Famer, Julio Caesar Chavez; undefeated champion, Brian Mitchell; and former champ and Olympian, Charles Murray.
Once Lopez retired, he decided to utilize his talents in a positive way to better the place he calls home: the Sacramento community. Tony not only trains and works with up and coming amateur boxers but also donates his time at local community events. Tony’s “tell it like it is” attitude has served him well, not only in his boxing career but in every aspect of his life. Whether you’re a kid on the street, a reporter, or a person in need, Tony’s honesty and integrity will be straight forward and unquestionable.
“The Tiger” will always be remembered for his crowd pleasing style and smile. He still resides in his hometown with his wife, Cathy, and currently owns a Bail Bonds agency in downtown Sacramento.
Tony had the crowd laughing as he reminded them that if they ever get in trouble with the law, they can count on him... and if they ever try to skip on him they can count on him to find them. On a more serious note Tony, spoke of his passion for the sport of boxing and how it is our youth that will keep it growing here in Sacramento. He has plans to work with young boxers to help them get the break they need to keep the sport alive and thriving in Sacramento. Tony's love for boxing and for Sacramento is very obvious to anyone who has the privilege to talk to him about either subject.