Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Victor Ortiz has a durable mandible, according to Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar de la Hoya, who also lauded the former WBC welterweight world champion’s desire to stand and trade. Ortiz clashes with 147lb rival Josesito Lopez on Saturday, June 23 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and de la Hoya enthused the match-up, claiming the contest to be “what boxing is all about” as it pits two young fighters in their prime against each other.
“Victor is a fighter who comes forward and has a great chin,” said de la Hoya, himself a noted prizefighter due to his gold medal achievement at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and his championing of six weight classes as a professional.
Taking Las Vegas as his fighting home, de la Hoya did make one appearance at STAPLES Center, albeit a split decision loss to Shane Mosley in 2000. The Golden Boy returns to the famous California stadium later this evening as an interested representative of Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko), whom he has booked a lucrative showdown with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez later in the year should Victor triumph over Josesito (29-4-0, 17ko).
“Victor and Josesito are at their peaks,” de la Hoya continued. “They could fight older guys, but this is what boxing is about. I think Victor has what it takes to be the best. If you want to be the best, you have to fight the best. Keeping fan’s’ interest in boxing takes making these types of fights.”
Ortiz is perceived to be the favourite against Lopez. He has been in with the tougher competition and is also a world titlist, having championed the WBC welterweight belt in 2011 due to his storming win over Andre Berto. Regardless of Ortiz’s pedigree, de la Hoya claims Lopez will be highly motivated to “derail the Ortiz express” as it is “Josesito’s opportunity of a lifetime”.
Ortiz’s trainer, Danny Garcia, though, has been preparing and coaching Ortiz to handle Lopez physically as well as mentally. He said: “We are prepared and ready to beat Josesito. He will come 100 percent ready, but we are ready too. I know Josesito’s style. He is always coming forward and throwing punches. Victor is too strong and too fast. He is a much better fighter.”