Josesito Lopez: Back Where He Belongs

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Hailing from Riverside, California comes the people’s champion, the American dream, the one-time boxing got it right, Josesito Lopez. If you’re asking yourself why is Lopez the American dream and how did boxing get it right with him? Well Josesito Lopez is the blue collar boxer, a man that before his two past fights still did his own lawn work according to his long time trainer and friend Henry Ramirez.

The 28-year-old Lopez 30-5-(KO 18) has had a long road with many twists and turns. Ups and downs are nothing new in the life of a fighter. Lopez was always known as a tough rugged fighter but it wasn’t until we seen him dig deep in his fight against Victor Ortiz that Lopez got the opportunity to shine in front of such a large audience and prove his worth.

Lopez leaped his way into the upper ranks of a crowded welterweight division by breaking Victor Ortiz’s jaw last June, scoring an unexpected TKO and sending Ortiz out of commission to date. But boxing got it right that night, the better tougher man won and also received the prize that was promised to Ortiz had he won, which was a mega show down with the new Golden Boy himself Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, last September. Lopez absorbed a pounding but acquitted himself well in defeat.

Two things can be taken from the “Canelo” fight.  Lopez is no 154-pounder and more than likely better suited at welterweight where he faired very well with one of the top guys in the division at that time, “When you’re fighting a heavy puncher like Maidana, you have to be smart. The move up to 154 pounds helped me now that I’m back at 147. Now I feel I’m a true welterweight. I feel great in the gym; stronger, and faster,” said Lopez.

The plot thickens as Lopez now faces the co-main event fighter that fought on his undercard the night he squared off against Canelo,; the only man to beat Victor Ortiz into submission in Marcos “El Chino” Maidana of Argentina for the WBA Intercontinental welterweight belt on June 8 in Carson, “I’m so excited about this fight and I’m the one receiving the punches. I can only imagine how excited the fans are. Years ago before I was at this level I thought, ‘Man, this would be an exciting fight. I would love to get in there and bang with him.’ Now we’re here. It’s a hell of a match-up. It could be the fight of the year,” expressed Lopez.

Maidana, 29, is 33-3-(KO 30). His last fight was a third-round knockout of Angel Martinez last December in Buenos Aires. His last loss was in February of 2012 to Devon Alexander, in a fight that not very many fight fans were pleased with as Alexander was allowed to hold and clinch upwards of 117 times in that fight,  making it more of a AA therapy session, instead of a fight.

The Martinez fight for Maidana was a stay busy, tune up fight. Maidana has been adding some new kinks in his armor by having world renowned trainer, Robert Garcia to his camp, and they have been working.

This was evident in Maidana’s fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 15, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Marcos Maidana took on Jesus Soto-Karass in a fight that gave as much action as it promised. But things also got a little dirty between the two men. Perhaps the most interesting part of the bout early on was Maidana showing a dedication to the jab, repeatedly snapping Karass’ head back with jab after jab. Many believed it was impossible to change a come forward brawler so late in his career, but they were wrong.  Maidana also showed some interesting improvements in the counter punching department and defensive maneuvering.

Ultimately Lopez is the taller fighter, the longer fighter, the better skilled boxer but compared to his opponent, may lack the necessary pop to keep “El Chino” off of them all night because Maidana will be on Lopez from start to finish like a cheap suit.

 

“We have to be smart and shoot our jab. We have to pick our spots and not let him. He’s an inside fighter and he likes to bang. Well, I like to bang too. I’ve got to be in a position where I want to be, not where he wants me to be.”