In what could be a candidate for Fight of the Year, Josesito Lopez (30-4 with 18 KO’s) defeated Victor Ortiz (29-4-2 with 22 KO’s) via 9th round TKO when Ortiz refused to come out of his corner complaining of a broken jaw at the end of the 9th round In front of a solid crowd of 7865 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California as Josesito Lopez showed more will and heart then the stronger Victor Ortiz.
Ortiz was ahead on all three scorecards after the 9th round. Kermit Bayless had it 86-85, Marty Dunkin had it 87-84, and Pat Russell had a wide margin of 88-83 for Ortiz. For the record I had it 86-85 for Ortiz going into the 10th round.
ShoStats had Ortiz landing 48 out of 190 jabs landing at a 25% rate, 99 out of 221 Power shots landing at a 45% rate a total of 411 punches with 147 landing at a 36% rate. Lopez landed a measly 12 out of 106 jabs for an 11% connect rate, 110 out of 302 power shots for a 36% rate and a total of 408 punches with 122 landing for a total of 30% connect rate.
Ortiz controlled the action in the first round with his jab. Lopez landed a nice right hook and let his hands go in the tail end of the round. Josesito landed the stronger and cleaner punches and earned that round.
In the 2nd round Ortiz stuned Lopez with a straight left hand followed by a right hook and took advantage as he charged forward. Josesito again letting his hands go in the tail end of the round.
The action continued in the 3rd round the round with both men exchanging power shots in the middle of the ring. Ortiz’s jab was the difference in this round. Victor landed while Josesito is trying to time Ortiz. Josesito let his hands go and landed but held when he felt Ortiz’ power.
Ortiz landed the jab and dictated the fight pace in the 4th round. Ortiz walked him down and every time Josesito was in trouble, he did what veterans do and tied up Ortiz to restart from a more comfortable position.
Ortiz reverted to his old self in the 5th as he hit Lopez behind the head as the ref, Jack Reiss stopped the action. The ref was coaching Lopez to continue claiming it was a grazing blow and told Ortiz to not throw the punch even if he holds your hand. Reiss did a good job calling the doctor, yet tells the doctor it was a grazing blow and to talk with Josesito instead of examining him. After the break in the action, Josecito found his second wind and traded in the middle of the ring while landing the better shots. I believe the ref should have taken a point but didn’t because he believed Lopez was holding Ortiz’s arm at the moment.
Lopez came out in the 6th strong, until Ortiz answered with a good combination. The tide was changing in the 7th round with Lopez landing nice uppercuts. Josesito was landing the better combinations but Ortiz is landed the stronger punches. At the 1:20 second mark in the round after Ortiz bullied Lopez on the ropes the fight drastically changed. Josesito Lopez motioned his gloves for Ortiz to come forward. At that moment you could see the crowd switch positions and root for Lopez over Ortiz. Lopez regained confidence and his second wind. You could even see Saul Canelo Alvarez in the background clapping his hands in excitement. The Mexican Lopez chased Ortiz and threw aggressive hooks and uppercuts that landed. The hunter had just become the hunted.
Lopez continued his fast start of rounds in the 8th and landed more shots, although Ortiz continued land powerful shots. Lopez would smartly tie up and land counter uppercuts when in close to fend off Ortiz’ power.
The war continued in the 9th round with Josesito’s eye closing and being checked by the ringside doctor. The uppercuts kept landing for Lopez and the rights kept catching Ortiz in the jaw. Round by round Lopez’ confidence grew and while Ortiz boxed in the 9th, Lopez landed the harder punches and had Ortiz backpedalling to end the round
Then it happened again for Ortiz. Showtime took us in Ortiz’s corner after the 9th round. Ortiz is seen standing up brushing off his corner man, takes of his towel and calls over the ref as his corner is trying to sit him down. Jack Reiss comes to the corner and Victor told the ref, “My Jaw is broken.” Reiss asked Ortiz, “Say your what is broken?” Ortiz replied, “My Jaw.” Then Riess asked Ortiz, ‘Your Jaw, are you stopping the fight?” Ortiz replied, “Yes, cuz My Jaw is Broken.” His trainer Danny Garcia told Ortiz to sit down. Ortiz responded “I’m DONE.” Victor Ortiz quit because his jaw was broken. His management confirmed after the fight that it was severely broken and that he would not be available for a post-fight interview.
The fight is over. Victor Ortiz had his mouth wide open and quits on his stool due to what he believes is a broken jaw. Briefly before exiting the ring, Ortiz tells Jim Grey his jaw was broken and that Josesito busted it in the beginning of the round.
Lopez came in as just an opponent and leaves as the winner in what has to be the upset of the year. “I know I was going to shock the world today, today is my day. I don’t quit. I’ll fight anyone as long as I’m ready. I’m the Mexican Paul Williams,” Lopez tells Jim Grey after the fight. “This Poor skinny Mexican from Riverside did it. I didn’t plan an hour ahead of this fight. This was my Rocky moment and I wasn’t going to let it go.”
This fight proved that boxing is alive and well. When you have the determination of Josesito Lopez, a clear underdog that was willing to take punches in order to place them, anything can happen. Going into the fight Victor Ortiz had the advantages of size, strength, a better jab, resume, public persona, and headlining experience. Josesito proved in the fight that he was going to out will Ortiz and his heart and determination was the difference in the fight.
Josesito Lopez has spoiled the plans of Golden Boy’s September 15th date for Saul Canelo Alvarez. Don’t expect Victor Ortiz to be healthy enough to rematch Lopez this year that leaves Josesito looking for an opponent. Josesito Lopez is amongst the new boxers to have won as the underdog in the welterweight division that include Randall Bailey and Paulie Malignaggi. Josesito Lopez is promoted by Thompson Boxing and managed by Al Haymon. Malignaggi was looking for an opponent to open up the Barclays Center in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York and may have found it in Josesito Lopez. Lopez seized an amazing opportunity and should reap the benefits for his amazing upset.