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.”
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)
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Heavy-handed Argentinean slugger Marcos Maidana, the current incumbent of the ‘Regular’ WBA junior welterweight title, is in debt to 147lb southpaw Victor Ortiz as, according to the fighter himself, it is he who gave Maidana his name due to their 2009 thriller where both fighters exchanged multiple knockdowns. Ortiz believes he is owed either a thank you, or a rematch…
Exciting Oxnard power-puncher Ortiz, 25, was stopped by Maidana three years ago and, even though he has gone on to capture a world title at welterweight and secure a lucrative showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr (albeit one he was unsuccessful in), Maidana too saw his status rise since ’09 and has shared a ring with Amir Khan, Erik Morales and Devon Alexander.
“[Maidana] owes me a thank you or a rematch because I gave him his name,” spat Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko), who is in action himself on Saturday, June 23 as he takes on Josesito Lopez in a 12-round duel for the lightly-regarded silver title sanctioned by the WBC.
“Right now the main focus is on Lopez because he’s no walk in the park,” he continued. “I don’t disrespect anyone. There’s a dangerous fighter in front of me who is on the same path as I was a year ago before I fought [Andre] Berto, but the difference here is I’m too hungry to let my chance go.”
Ortiz has not fought since his defeat to Mayweather nine months ago. A rematch with Berto, slated for earlier in the year, was postponed as the Floridian suffered an injury to his bicep and so the bout was pushed back to June 23, however, Berto then failed a drug test. Ortiz’s opponent was duly changed but the date was salvaged as Lopez (29-4-0, 17ko) was brought in and, even though he has not locked leather in a professional environment since September last year, Ortiz is eager to return to the ring with a bang.
“If [Lopez] wants to go to war, we’ll go to war. If he wants to box, then we’ll box. It doesn’t really matter. I’m there to take what is rightfully mine.”
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.
On The Beak – Admin
Andre Berto was recently advised that he tested positive for low levels of 19-norandrosterone, a metabolite of nandrolone or nandrolone precursors. So far, neither Andre Berto nor his lawyer have been provided with any laboratory documentation other than a one page, summary report of the laboratory’s findings. Berto’s lawyer has requested the complete laboratory documentation package, including all chain of custody documentation and scientific data supporting the laboratory’s summary report.
Berto issued this statement: “At the present time, I cannot explain the positive drug test, which was provided as part of a voluntary anti-doping program in which I agreed to participate. I know that I have never used any steroids or other banned substances, and I am investigating all possible causes of the positive test with my attorney Howard Jacobs. I have never cheated, and all of my success has come from hard work and dedication.”
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.
On The Beak – Admin
Welterweight challenger Andre Berto – slated to face Victor Ortiz in a well-publicised rematch of a 2011 classic this month – withdrew from the February 11 contest due to sustaining injury to his left bicep during a routine sparring session on Monday. The rupture, that occurred whilst throwing a left hook, is expected to require arthroscopic surgery and a photo of the injury has been released by Showtime, who were scheduled to broadcast the non-title clash.
On The Beak – Admin
Due to a left biceps injury sustained while training on Monday, January 30, Andre Berto will be unable to compete in his scheduled February 11 Showtime televised bout against Victor Ortiz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, forcing a cancellation of the event on that date. All parties involved are actively seeking a possible postponement date for Ortiz vs. Berto II.
Information regarding previously purchased tickets being honored for a possible postponement date will be released as it becomes available or, alternatively, ticketholders can contact their place of purchase for refunds. More information will be announced as it becomes available.
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Not included on any pound-for-pound top ten lists, two-time welterweight world champion Andre Berto and former WBC titlist at 147lbs Victor Ortiz remain two of the P4P most exciting prizefighters on the planet and both trade leather on Saturday, February 11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in a highly-anticipated rematch of their 2011 classic. Fanning the flames ahead of the do-over duel, Ortiz has claimed he does not even respect his opponent…
“I know I have to be tremendously tough for this guy, both in and out of the ring,” said Ortiz, a 24-year-old product of the conveyor belt of boxing talent that is Oxnard. Born in Kansas City and, in a highly-publicised life-story, abandoned by his mother, Ortiz was left to take care of his younger brother Temo before being discovered by Robert Garcia and brought to California, where his career is now overseen by Robert’s brother Danny.
Often the underdog, Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko) was written off by fight scribes for his capitulation against Marcos Maidana in 2009, produced a career-best performance to beat Berto down last year earning him a shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr, an experienced athlete who knocked Victor out in the fourth round leaving Ortiz, once again, as the unfancied fighter heading into the February bout in Vegas.
Ortiz is – unlike his Vicious moniker – well-spoken and articulate outside of the ring. Even after losing in such swift and unsatisfactory a manner to Mayweather, Victor was all-smiles post-fight and had the appearance of a man just happy to be there considering the road he had trodden, however, inside the squared circle he wants to reassert himself and live up to his nickname.
In his own words he is “not a guy who has to run [my] mouth” as he “lets the boxing gloves do the talking.” He continued: “It’s going to be a great fight, I will be victorious once again and I will not take no for an answer. [In the last fight] it was the same Berto I trained for, actually better. The only difference – there was a beast in there with him. Again, I’m the underdog. That’s the story of my life,” said Ortiz.
“I don’t really mind it one bit. It’s the game. I’m just here. At the end of the day I’m just trying to be one of the greats.”
With strong victories over Jan Zaveck, Carlos Quintana, Juan Urango, Luis Collazo and Steve Forbes, combined with his aesthetically-pleasing fighting style, it is impossible to dismiss Berto’s credentials and skillset, something Ortiz acknowledges when he labels Berto (28-1-0, 22ko) a “good fighter”, however, having already shared the ring once with him where he twice dropped the Floridian, he added: “I never saw him as great.
“Not even when I was at 140 and I was coming up to challenge him — which is why I challenged him,” Ortiz added. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s a dangerous fighter but I don’t fear him. I have no respect for him, I’m not scared of him, nothing like that.
“At the end of the day I will win this once again.”
Related article: New IBF champ Berto sends Zaveck back to Slovenia a bloody mess