“I’m excited about this fight. I’m ready to go at a weight where I feel the most comfortable at, and against one of the toughest fighters in my weight division. I’m definitely excited as a fighter and as a boxing fan for this next fight.”
Those were the words of Josesito Lopez during a conference call last week in the buildup to his highly anticipated slugfest with Marcos Maidana. Lopez’ last 3 fights have been all been in different weight classes. He fought Jessie Vargas at 140 lbs on the Mayweather-Ortiz card in September of 2011. Then he stepped in for Andre Berto and defeated Victor Ortiz at 147 lbs last June. With that victory, he cashed in on the Canelo Alvarez sweepstakes at 154 lbs. Although it was a tough defeat, Lopez’ heart was not questioned as he did all he could but was just too small for the division.
Lopez said he learned from that loss, more specifically he learned where he should be fighting at. “You know what I wouldn’t say the move to 154 was a great decision but I have no regrets on taking that fight. I fought one of the best fighters out there. I lost and I came, but helped me. I think that moving up from 154 has probably helped me mold a little bit better to 147. So now I feel a little bit better and feel more comfortable at 147,” explained Lopez.
His opponent on June 8th, Marcos Maidana shared the same sentiments with Lopez’ move to 154. “You’re right; he went up to fight Canelo. He had no business in that division so I think that at 147 it’s more his weight class and it’s going to be a tough fight,” explained Maidana. Maidana also feels that at this weight, Lopez will be as his best “I know he’s a very good fighter. It’s going to be a tough fight. He’s going to be stronger at his weight class so I’ve got a very, very difficult fight, but I’m going to do whatever it takes to win, and I’ve been preparing myself to win. It’s going to be a tough fight but I’ve got to look good and I’ve got to win.”
Maidana himself was a top junior welterweight, who moved up in weight. His first fight wasn’t a successful one as he lost to Devon Alexander. After that loss, Maidana felt like the division was too big for him. He also made the change to renowned trainer Robert Garcia. With that change, he stayed at 147, defeated Jesus Soto Karass and Angel Martinez. He now feels he is accustomed to the welterweight division.
“I feel a lot stronger. I feel a lot stronger at this weight class than I did at 140.”
Lopez sees Maidana as a strong puncher at this division and much like his counterpart, feels that Maidana is where he should be. “Yeah, obviously he’s a proven strong puncher so you’ve always got to be aware of that. I think a victory here-I think we’re two of the toughest fighters at 147 so definitely a victory here would put us near the top, and get us in line to fight some of the best fighters in the world so who wins is very important.”
Both guys shared the same opponent in Victor Ortiz, and in some ways defeated Ortiz similarly by making Ortiz retire. Each fighter differs in opinion on the rematch. “Look, I beat him. I’ve moved on. I’m looking for bigger, better fights. I want to fight the champions, and if that rematch ever comes about I’ll be ready. I’ll be ready but right now I’ve got my sight set on fighting world champions in bigger, better fights,” stated Lopez. As for Maidana, he is a little more open. “I don’t have a problem with it. If it comes around then doing a rematch he won’t have a problem. He’ll fight him again, and basically he’ll leave it up to Golden Boy. Whoever Golden Boy says and as long as the deal is the right deal then yeah he’ll fight.”
This fight was originally scheduled for April 20th but was moved to June 8th when the Canelo-Trout fight was announced. Needless to say that the fans are anxious to seeing what many are calling a can’t-miss action fight. Both guys know that as well.
“I think that we will both be in very good shape and in a very tough fight. I think it’s a tough fight for both of us. I really think the grounds are even and really the best fighter, the smarter fighter is going to win June 8th,” Lopez explained. Maidana’s words were almost mirrored Lopez. “It’s going to be a tough fight. He’s a good fighter. He’s going to be strong. I’m a good fighter. I’m going to be strong, and I don’t think about that stuff. I just think that the winner is going to be the fighter that’s going to be able to withstand the most and the guy that wants it more and the guy that trains better.”
The fight is just a few days away and it almost seemingly snuck up on us with the excellent boxing schedule that 2013 has delivered. It will be worth the wait and with both guys stating that they have found their right fighting division; it will be worth the weight.