Mario Lopez Laces Up!

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home5/burbankb/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home5/burbankb/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_page::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home5/burbankb/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 481.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home5/burbankb/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home5/burbankb/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home5/burbankb/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home5/burbankb/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home5/burbankb/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home5/burbankb/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home5/burbankb/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home5/burbankb/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 135.

Michele Chong - Posted on 12 June 2009

Mario Lopez Laces Up!

Actor works out with the Burbank Boxing Club

Story and Photos By Michele Chong

Watch out, Juanma! There's another Lopez in the ring: It's actor Mario Lopez--TV host, Broadway star and boxing aficionado!

Clad in a gray shirt and black shorts, the actor sparred for eight three-minute rounds, taking on all-comers last night at the Burbank Boxing Club. A special guest of the club, Mario laced up in an impromptu sparring session with several of the gym's fighters.

Lopez proved his conditioning was top-notch as he sparred with his friend and club member Adam Seal, who had brought Lopez up for a visit. Seal had invited Mario--a huge boxing enthusiast--to check out the new Club Room the group recently moved into. Inside the ropes, the sturdy Lopez also took on Oscar Portillo, Joe Jacobs, and Armen Grigoryan for some light sparring.

Many were impressed with the TV personality's natural athleticism and strength. With his broad shoulders and muscular thighs, Lopez worked out with a few different boxers of various weights and skill levels. Mario did fine throughout the workout and in case you were wondering...No, he never had to be "Saved by the Bell!"

"He's pretty good!" said light heavy Oscar Portillo, who was the first to step in against the celebrity opponent. "He knows what he's doing."

Don't worry, girls, that perfect profile is still intact. Mario's definitely got the goods--he's no slouch in the ring.

"He's got a beautiful left hook to the body,"added Coach Steve Harpst, founder of the Burbank Boxing Club, as he watched the action in the squared circle. "Mario's in really good condition. He's got some pro skills!"

Once the bell rang, the former "Dancing With The Stars" fan fave, got his game face on and went for eight straight rounds. With just a few sips of water in between, he was good to go. And after trading punches on the canvas, the part-time pugilist finished off his workout at the heavy bags.

The popular actor and former high-school wrestler obviously loves the sport and was serious about getting a good cardio workout. And he fit right in with the Burbank Boxing Club. In fact, busy with their own challenging workouts, many people didn't recognize him at first. Wondering who that "new guy" was in the ring, some of the club members gathered to watch the activity behind the ropes.

"Is that Mario Lopez?" they would ask me as they tried to get a better look through the padded headgear and mouthpiece. Then, clearly impressed with the TV star's boxing skills, they'd ask me again with a more incredulous tone of voice, "Is that really Mario Lopez?!"
Standing next to Rick Farris, former pro bantamweight, I watched the sparring progress. He first met Harpst through the World Boxing Hall of Fame and was encouraged by the community feel of the Burbank Boxing Club. Now, he and his fighter are two of the club's newest members. Farris, who currently works as a lighting technician in Hollywood, has brought a heavyweight up to the club. After watching Mario a while, Farris turns and asks, "Is that Mario Lopez, the actor?"
I laughed and replied, "Yes, that's him."

During an hour and a half of working out with the Burbank Boxing Club, the former teen idol was able to escape the glare of the limelight and the hordes of paparazzi for a while. Mario also took time to meet with some of the younger boxers like Damien Lopez, showing him some combinations and working with the teenager for a few minutes.

"Hey, there's a whole bunch of Lopezes here!" said one of the club members as Damien Lopez's parents, David and Angie, met Mario Lopez. "He's fast," the actor told them of their son's boxing style. David, Angie and Damien make the workouts a family event in the club's comfortable setting.

Founded in 1996, the Burbank Boxing Club just moved into this new Club Room which offers men, women and teens the chance to learn strength, conditioning, speed, and confidence through the sport. Through the last decade, Harpst's club has hosted various fundraisers, events, and shows with special celebrity guests including "The Golden Boy's" cutman Joe Chavez, Hall of Famer Chuck Bodak, and another "Dancing with the Stars" alum Adam Carolla. Funnyman and amateur boxer Carolla visited the club last year, getting some mitt work in with the kids.

And during last night's workout, Mario Lopez earned everyone's respect in the room--the heartthrob more than held his own in the ring. If he hadn't turned to acting, Lopez could have been a contender!

"He's in good shape, he's 175 right now. He works out, lifts weights, and stays in great condition," says Mario's friend Paolo, a Nevada resident, who was there watching on. "He's even sparred with Oscar De La Hoya before." The actor uses boxing to stay in shape and has no plans to go pro--yet!

Both Paolo and his high-profile buddy will be heading back to Vegas tomorrow where Mario will be covering the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton fight. Knowing that he's often seen at Wild Card, I jokingly ask him who he's rooting for? "PACQUIAO!" he says with a laugh, flashing those famous dimples.

The athletic actor, knowledgeable of the sweet science, has even authored his own book "Mario Lopez's Knockout Fitness." He is currently the host of the entertainment news show "Extra" and also MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew."

And with his mouthpiece still in, the crowd-pleasing Mario even took time to pose for some quick photos before his visit ended.
As a former local resident, Lopez first met Harpst several years ago in Burbank. "It was great to have him work out with the club tonight; it was a lot of fun," says the boxing trainer. Mario was given a Burbank Boxing Club hat and made an honorary member. Harpst said, "He's welcome here anytime!"

Photos by Michele Chong: At the Burbank Boxing Club; Mario Lopez (gray shirt) and Adam Seal (black shirt); With Damien and Angie Lopez; Mario and Coach Steve.