Alan Dawson – London
Mexican light middleweight dog Alfredo Angulo had his thrilling career in the light middleweight division interrupted earlier this year when, after turning himself in to an immigration detention centre in California, Angulo was held for seven months on account of living in the United States with an expired Visa. He was released in August and, ahead of his return to the ring on November 10, discussed his experiences at El Centro…
On the protracted nature of his release…
I had no idea when I was going to get out. I was told it was going to be a short time and obviously that didn’t happen. So I just kept focusing on staying strong, just to get out of there.
I kept thinking about my daughter, which is very important to me. And also I kept thinking about helping other detainees, that were in the same situation as I was, get out and making a difference in helping them out. And obviously the last thing was being able to get back in the ring and fighting in the United States again.
On staying in shape whilst detained…
The reality is they didn’t let me train in there. A simple thing like having tennis shoes… it took me two months. They didn’t allow me to use or have tennis shoes for two months. The rules stipulate that it’s a three-day process, but for some reason it took me two months to get tennis shoes. The only thing I ever did to stay physically fit and in shape was play handball and I did that every day for two hours a day. It was team play, two on two or four.
On his current status…
I’m here [in the US] legally. Everything is fine. The process is behind me. All I have to do now is just think about the future and move forward.
Angulo (20-2-0, 17ko) looks to bounce back from a 2011 defeat to James Kirkland on Saturday, when he takes on Raul Casarez at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on the undercard of the super bantamweight showdown between Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno.
Alan Dawson – London
In a competitive and completely entertaining tussle inside Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center on Saturday, June 23, Josesito Lopez produced the fight of his life and secured the upset of the year as he overcame a debilitating rabbit punch in round five to break Victor Ortiz‘s jaw, prompting Vicious to quit on his stool. In a memorable ruckus, Lopez was able to maintain pace with Ortiz by virtue of his useful uppercut.
Official verdict: Lopez by way of 9Rd TKO.
“I’m happy, I’m excited and I had to fight the fight of my life to win,” said Lopez (30-4-0, 18ko) to Showtime. “I knew I caught him with at least a few punches that hurt him. Did I break his jaw? I don’t know. I told everyone I was going to shock the world. Today is my day.”
Shaking up the world was exactly what Lopez did. Ortiz… a powerful bulldozer of a welterweight when on his day, battled in a spirited manner but was met – near enough equally – by Lopez as both fighters exchanged jabs, bombs and ten scores. The bout did not begin as a slobberknocker as Victor Ortiz’s patience in round one belied nine months of frustrations outside the ring that could have seen him attack with gusto from the off.
That tentativeness from the former welterweight world champion with the WBC was in stark contrast to Josesito Lopez – widely regarded to be the pre-fight underdog – who proved to have a growling bark and piercing bite as he twice hooked Ortiz (29-4-2, 22ko) with menacing power at the end of the session, getting Victor’s attention with each strike.
An edge-of-the-seat thriller erupted in the subsequent rounds as the momentum swayed from one fighter to the other. Ortiz displayed a varied arsenal of punches with thumping jabs, double jabs and uppercuts while Lopez showed good ring generalship, pushing Victor into areas where he wanted to work whilst also landing a good number of his power shots.
The action lulled somewhat in the fourth, but while Lopez did little, Ortiz maintained a tempo, scoring with his jab and straight left punches. The fierce action returned to the fore in the fifth but Ortiz drew a chorus of boos midway through the round when he clipped the back of Lopez’s head and a time-out was granted to Josesito. Lopez, initially, appeared like he did not want to continue but as soon as boxing resumed, he was all business, all power and all testosterone as he traded slugs with Ortiz and landed a tremendous right with 30 seconds left on the round clock.
“Quitting? No. I don’t quit,” Lopez said when questioned about the rabbit punch. “Did it hurt? Yes! It hurt.”
Lopez found success with his hook shot in round six and both men traded combinations. Ortiz rattled Lopez’s core in the seventh with a tiger uppercut and Lopez waved his gloves as if to say bring it when both combatants exchanged short-range shots with Josesito’s back to the ropes. When he came off the ropes, he harassed and chased Ortiz around the ring, landing heavily and prompting Victor to clinch.
Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar de la Hoya had lauded Ortiz’s ability to take a punch during the event’s promotion and, in the eighth round, Lopez attempted to test that theory with what had become his signature punch of the night – the uppercut. Lopez’s ascendancy in the first half of the round was negated by Ortiz’s greater work in the latter half, landing southpaw jabs, double jabs and straight left hands.
Lopez’s uppercut was a shot he was able to land flush from many areas. He launched it during inside-trading and he also connected with it when there was a foot gap between their front feet. In the ninth, though, while the pace of the fight had quietened, it was Ortiz – like he had earlier in the bout – who maintained some form of eye-catching tempo as he pumped out three to four punch combinations and, in the final 30 seconds, walloped Lopez who refused to back down and finished by backing Ortiz up before checking his jaw with a right hand.
In an incredible turn of events, Victor Ortiz quit on his stool, complaining of a broken jaw and refusing to come out to play for the beginning of the tenth round. Lopez had gotten inside Ortiz’s head, produced a storming performance, won the crowd’s approval and, when mounting the turnbuckle to salute the STAPLES Center masses, received a standing ovation.
“Josesito busted my jaw,” said Ortiz in a muffled tone after the fight before trainer Danny Garcia attempted to marshal him out of the ring where he would return to his dressing room and spit streams of blood into a towel. “I had my mouth open, I’ll be fine, my coaches wanted me to keep going but I couldn’t close my mouth. It’s a little painful, I’m sorry.”
With the victory, Lopez claimed the silver WBC title at 147lbs, scuppered Ortiz’s plans of challenging Saul Alvarez for the Mexican’s WBC junior middleweight world title and saw his own stock rise stratospherically with the result and his performance.
Will Lopez take on more big names at welterweight or return to junior welterweight?
“As long as I’m ready, I’ll take anybody,” said Josesito.
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.”
Words: Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Photos: Tom Casino/Showtime
Former two-weight world champion Humberto Soto and fearless junior welterweight contender Lucas Matthysse get their dukes up on Saturday, June 23 at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and have vowed to wow the Californian crowd with a display filled with machismo. Matthysse has declared that his team have been preparing for a war whilst Soto stated that experience will see him edge the toe-to-toe battle.
A 29-year-old from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matthysse (30-2-0, 28ko) has built up a headhunter’s reputation founded on his 85 percent chance of securing victory by way of knockout, however, when campaigning on American canvas, he has twice found himself on the wrong side of a decision when a fight is to be decided by the ringside judges. On both occasions – Zab Judah in New Jersey in 2010 and Devon Alexander in Missouri in 2011 – the crafty South American brawler made a case for victory.
On his two losses, Matthysse said: “Those were both very difficult fights to have to adjust to them and change the way I fight. I know I won both those fights… deep in my heart, I know it. It did hurt me, but we’ve got to come back stronger and I know we are ready for bigger and better things.”
While Judah and Alexander are slippery opponents who would be more comfortable fighting in space, rather than in the centre of the ring, Soto (58-7-2, 34ko) possesses an alternative style… one which Matthysse is more comfortable with.
“With Humberto, we all know he’s going to come to fight. He wants to come to battle and that makes me very happy because we are ready to give him a war.”
The Mexican Soto paid tribute to Matthysse’s attributes but cites the gulf in experience (Soto has boxed 470 rounds compared to Mattysse’s 110) to be pivotal come fight time. He said: “There is no doubt Lucas is a strong opponent and a strong fighter. He comes forward and always looks for a fight.
“The difference in this fight is the experience. I have a lot of experience, and that’s what’s going to lead me to victory. Matthysse is a good fighter. He’s going to stay in there and he’s a smart fighter. We’re going to go toe-to-toe.”
Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime
In the fierce Los Angeles heat on Friday, June 22 there was a frosty face-off shared by Showtime main-eventers Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko) and Josesito Lopez (29-4-0, 17ko). The welterweight combatants vie for the WBC silver title at the STAPLES Center on June 23 and, prior to their adrenaline-charged stare-down, registered respective weights of 146.5lbs and 144.75lbs.
(Embedded video below credit – YouTube, ShoSports)
On The Beak – Admin
It was officially announced today that contender Josesito Lopez, of Riverside, has been tapped to meet Victor Ortiz in the main event on Saturday, June 23, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles for the vacant WBC silver welterweight title, live on Showtime. Lopez, who had been training for a June 22 bout that was canceled days ago, replaces Andre Berto following Berto’s failed pre-fight drug test which was revealed last Friday.
Ortiz versus Lopez will headline a three-fight Showtime Championship Boxing telecast that now will include top rated heavyweight Chris Arreola in a ten-round bout against an opponent to be determined and the previously announced 12-round bout between Humberto Soto and Lucas Matthysse for the vacant WBC continental Americas super lightweight belt.
The star of Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko) has been on the rise for the last few years, but in 2011, the native of Garden City, Kansas, finally put everything together for the entire world to see. The owner of wins over Mike Arnaoutis, Nate Campbell and Antonio Diaz, Ortiz stepped it up in April 2011 with a thrilling 12-round decision win over Berto that captivated the boxing world and earned him the WBC welterweight championship.
Five months later, Ortiz would lose a controversial bout to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr, but on June 23, the 25-year old begins his quest to get back to the top of the division.
The latest in the line of talented contenders from Southern California, 27-year old Josesito Lopez (29-4, 17ko) has the style and determination to add “championship” to his resume sooner rather than later. A boxer-puncher who isn’t afraid to mix it up, Lopez flew under the radar for the early part of his career, but after a controversial decision loss to Edgar Santana in 2008, fight fans started taking notice of him.
Following a seven fight winning streak that included a knockout of unbeaten Mike Dallas Jr in 2011, Lopez got a coveted undercard fight against Jessie Vargas last September beneath the Floyd Mayweather versus Victor Ortiz pay-per-view mega-fight. While he lost a razor-thin split decision which many ringside observers had him winning, he proved that he can compete at the highest level of the sport.
A big puncher with an even bigger personality, Riverside’s Chris Arreola (35-2, 30ko) has long been considered one of the best and most popular heavyweights in the game today. A former world title challenger who took on Vitali Klitschko at STAPLES Center in 2009, the 31-year old Arreola has since won eight of his last nine bouts, including knockouts of Raphael Butler and Eric Molina. With a world championship fight right around the corner, he will have a lot at stake when he enters the ring in front of his loyal hometown fans at STAPLES Center.
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Former welterweight world champions Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto cross swords for the second time in their respective careers when they duel on Saturday, June 23 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The bout had initially been set to take place earlier in the year but Berto withdrew after rupturing a bicep during routine training. Now that the Floridian is healed, he has pledged to take the fight to the man who bested him last year in a bout not shy of excitement.
“The arm is feeling great and I’m ready to get in there and handle some unfinished business on June 23,” said Berto (28-1-0, 22ko), motivated by last year’s defeat – his sole blemish as a professional. Such was the 28-year-old’s desire to avenge his loss to Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko) that he relinquished possession of the IBF welterweight world championship (that he won in his most recent match, a forceful fifth round retirement of tough Slovenian Jan Zaveck) in order to purse the rematch.
“This is guaranteed to be an explosive fight that you don’t want to miss. Los Angeles has become a second home to me, so I’m excited to perform for all the fans at STAPLES Center this summer.”
Berto’s promoter Lou DiBella commented: “It was unfortunate that Andre suffered the injury and the rematch had to be postponed but we are happy that we were able to reschedule this much anticipated fight and are looking forward to another great night on June 23.
“Berto-Ortiz I was a fight of the year candidate and boxing fans can expect more of the same in this fight.”
The undercard to support the Berto v Ortiz main event is already stacking up as a thunderous punch-up between junior welterweight duo Humberto Soto (58-7-2, 34ko) and Lucas Matthysse (30-2-0, 28ko) has been booked. Middleweight prospect J’Leon Love (10-0-0, 6ko) also makes an appearance on the bill.
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
WBC‘s number one ranked contender at middleweight, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, told the press today that he is proud his father gave many ‘joys’ to the Mexican people due to his unrivalled boxing ability and that he himself wants to continue giving that joy by snatching the world title away from Sebastian Zbik on June 4.
“Since childhood I have dreamed of this,” Chavez Jr (42-0-1, 30ko) stated at a pre-fight press conference ahead of his first world title fight at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, USA this summer. “And for that I’ve worked hard to prepare to defeat Zbik.
“It’s a tough fight,” noted the Mexican. “But nothing is free and I want to achieve my dream… my father gave many joys to Mexico, I want to continue giving such joy.”
Standing in Chavez Jr’s realisation of that dream is Zbik (30-0-0, 10ko). Like Chavez Jr, he is also undefeated. Zbik was awarded the full version of the WBC crown at the 160lb weight limit when the WBC ‘promoted’ Sergio Martinez to ‘Champion Emeritus’ due to his decision to box Serhiy Dzinziruk last month instead of fighting Zbik.
Outside of Germany, Zbik is perhaps an unknown fighter. Having fought all of his bouts in Europe, the 29-year-old makes his debut on U.S canvas in June.
He said: “I’m excited to take on Julio Cesar, son of a great idol Julio Cesar Chavez.
“I’m going into the ring with all the confidence that I’ll win on a big stage like the Staples Center. I have a great fight plan and I’m not worried at all about Chavez’s Jr.’s record or his knockouts.
“I’ve never been knocked out so my goal is to get a lot of training and defend my title.”