With just about 6 weeks until the June 8th matchup between Josesito Lopez and Marcos Maidana, the buzz has already started on what should be a fight of the year candidate. Although Lopez who is a Mexican-American and Maidana being a native of Argentina, the fight will be a cross-town fight as both boxers are trained on the outskirts of the L.A. area. As Lopez’s trainer Henry Ramirez was in town with his other fighter, heavyweight Chris Arreola; he took a few minutes to go over what on paper looks like one of the most competitive fights this year.
Returning to the welterweight division, Josesito Lopez will find himself against one of the most feared punchers at 140 & 147lbs in Maidana, who has a knockout win ratio of 83%, Ramirez acknowledged the tenacity of Maidana by saying “He’s a tough customer man, good punching power, I think he has a great camp, I know Robert (Garcia) very well. It seems like they’re trying to get him to box a little more, I don’t know how much success they’re going to have with that but to me I think Maidana is a balls to the wall power puncher trying to break guys down; but you know nothing wrong with adding a different element.” Continuing with the discussion of styles and what each fighter brings to the table, it seems like the Lopez camp has something up their sleeves. “With Josesito I think you’re going to see a different element that he hasn’t had to utilize in a fight, I’m not going to tell you what it is right now but you’ll see in the fight. It’s a can’t miss action fight, two gritty guys and with Maidana being a big power puncher, and Josesito being a great body puncher and an extremely rugged kid, it’s going to be a great fight.”
As most fans already know, Lopez is coming off a 5th round TKO loss to Super Welterweight champion, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez; coming off a tough loss his confidence will come in to question. “He’s going to be fine, he didn’t take a sustained beating. I actually wanted to stop it after the fourth; I just thought oh well you know a bigger, stronger guy. I told him ‘if you don’t show me anything, I’m going to stop the fight’ and he tells me ‘I’ll do it, I’ll do it’; to me that’s his way of telling me ‘let me go out on my shield if that’s the way it’s going to go’, it’s the way it happens, but I don’t regret putting him in the fight.”
Most people had seen the battle as a mismatch, a modern day David versus Goliath since the weight and size differences seemed large, but there is a method to the madness. “There’s certain things that present itself in this business and you got to take the opportunity when it’s there. You know people want to criticize but you know people hate hearing this; but this business is about money I don’t give a fuck what anybody says. When the opportunity to make money is there you got to jump at it, nothing is guaranteed in this business. Beating Ortiz has put him in those money fights where you know he’s going to do well for himself now, I wasn’t going to turn down the Canelo fight despite criticism or what have you, the opportunity afforded itself and we took it, we lost and honestly we had nothing to lose anyways.”
California and especially Los Angeles being a hot bed for boxing; ,many times friends are pitted against each other, with the Lopez-Maidana battle, Ramirez will face another trainer he admires in trainer of the year Robert Garcia, “Robert’s a great guy, he’s the man right now, everybody’s going to him, that’s great man. I know him well, I know his father well, Mikey Garcia trained at our gym in Riverside with the father. The father is someone who is a knowledgeable man, Mr. Eduardo Garcia; I pick his brain about certain things…great family, great guys, I like to shoot the shit with them when I see them you know, I see Eduardo and Mikey on a regular basis, when Robert and I heard about this fight we’re texting back and forth like ‘did you hear the fight got moved’ because you know it got moved from April 20th and he’s like ‘fuck!’ but you know Robert’s a great guy. Like I said I know he’s going to have Maidana prepared, I’ m going to have Josesito prepared, and we’ll see what happens.”
The only certainty at the moment is that on June 8th we will see a war, while no bad blood is shared between neither the fighters or the trainers, all the focus can be set on what will happen in the ring.