While most of the hype and attention for the September 15th date in Las Vegas is focused on the middleweight championship fight taken place between Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr, there is a camp with an upset minded fighter and a confident trainer ready to steal the spotlight from that fight, and from his superstar Mexican opponent Canelo Alvarez. Last time we seen Josesito Lopez, he was celebrating a massive upset TKO victory over Victor Ortiz, who was then, Canelo’s next opponent. Lopez made the jump from Jr. Welterweight to Welterweight for the Ortiz fight, and will have to make another jump in weight when he takes on The WBC Super Welterweight Champion, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Not many people are giving him much of a shot because of the jump in weight, where in his last fight he weighed in at 144 lbs, 3 lbs below the 147 lb welterweight limit. His head trainer Henry Ramirez however, will tell you a different side regarding his weight. “Weight is good, Josesito is not small guy, he walks around 170-175, so 140 was probably too hard to make anyway,” Ramirez told ThaBoxingVoice.com. “Where Josesito is most comfortable at the weigh in is probably around 149-150, he’ll come in above 160 (fight night). I know Canelo will probably be over 170, so that’s why we’re sparring with guys all over 160.”
The Lopez camp knows about the weight difference and that being a big factor in why the odds makers aren’t giving Josesito much of a chance. That doesn’t bother them because they were huge underdogs against Ortiz, so to the Lopez camp, its business as usual. “They don’t have to put their money on Josesito. It makes no difference to our purses. If you think the smaller inferior guy is going to be manhandled, it’s going to be a rude awakening to Golden Boy and the supporters of Canelo. Josesito is a big kid and maybe we kept him at 140 too long, but we’re going to shock the world again.”
If you think Ramirez is talking crazy, he doesn’t care. He has a reason why he’s so confident in his fighter, and it has to do with something called prime. “I think more than anything, it has to with Jose and his preparation. A fighter has two primes, his physical and mental prime. Josesito is at both at the same time. When’s the last time Canelo fought someone in both? He fought Mosley last time around, and Mosley did the best he could but he was past his days and nowhere near either prime. I wasn’t impressed by it. He’s (Canelo) is a good, young talented fighter, we’ll see where he’s at,” explained Ramirez.
To Ramirez, the game plan is simple, make Canelo respect you early. He wants his fighter to push the pace because he feels that Canelo likes fighting at his own methodical pace. Lopez’ success will come in making Canelo uncomfortable. Ramirez has been paying attention to one fight in particular, the Alvarez-Alfonso Gomez fight. Ramirez said, “He (Alvarez) tried to roll the right hand a lot in that fight. Josesito is a superior fighter than Gomez and he had some success against Canelo. I think we have to test the chin early. If Canelo is to win, he has to go to hell to do it. We’re going to get him out his comfort zone. If Josesito hurts him the way Jose Cotto did, he’s going to finish him.”
To Ramirez, that’s the only way his fighter is leaving Las Vegas with the W. Beating a superstar Mexican fighter on Mexican Independence Day Weekend in Las Vegas, he says, “If Canelo stands; he pretty much wins the fight, same with Chavez Jr. We’re not coming for the decision. We need to get respect early, make sure we change the pace and make Canelo uncomfortable. Canelo dishes it good but let’s see how Canelo takes it.”
Should Canelo not take it well, Lopez would have two defining victories in his career in the same year. In all likelihood he would be the fighter of the year upsetting the apple cards, not once but twice. Ramirez feels the same way. “If he upsets Canelo, he surely deserves to be fighter of the year. He was 8-1 underdog to Ortiz and now 11-1 to Canelo and if people think I deserve trainer of the year award, then great! But I’m just happy for Josesito; reaping the rewards of all the years of hard work, especially after all his close losses.”
Win, lose, or draw, Josesito will have options from 140-154. With the backing of Al Haymon, along with his promoters at Thomson Boxing and Goosen Tutor, his support system is strong. “With Josesito, 147 is the best option. I don’t foresee this being a career move in the long run. We just couldn’t pass up this great opportunity but then again, I said we wouldn’t go up to 154. There are great attractive fights at 140-147 so that’s our spot. There are so many names at 140-147, plenty of interesting fights between 140 and 147. But should we beat Canelo, there is a rematch clause and we’ll take that for triple the money,” laughed Ramirez.
No matter the outcome, Lopez’ underdog story is one liked by many, and his heart in the ring won’t go unnoticed. He already had one moment this year, and the chances of him having another are slim according to many. But maybe, just maybe, we are all wrong, again.
For Full Audio of This Interview Click Here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thaboxingvoiceradioshow/2012/08/26/henry-ramirez-joan-guzman-jessie-magdaleno