Everyone’s Calling Out Victor Ortiz, But It Looks Like Josesito Lopez Will Land June 23rd Fight

By James Slater - Due to Andre Berto failing a random drugs test last week, his rematch with Victor Ortiz, scheduled for June 23rd in L.A, looks to be off (Berto is appealing before The California commission, so who knows what will happen). Golden Boy and Showtime almost immediately began searching for a late replacement for Ortiz, and everyone from Breidis Prescott to Erislandy Lara has called out “Vicious” Victor, claiming they would come in at five week’s notice and fight him..

But it seems as though the search for a suitable June 23rd foe is over. According to Dan Rafael of, Josesito Lopez, 29-4(17) is in place to take the fight. According to Rafael, Lopez’ manager, Henry Ramirez, told that his fighter has been offered the fight and has accepted it, and that the deal is “98-percent done.”

Lopez, from Riverside, California (along with another Ramirez fighter in heavyweight contender Chris Arreola, who may also fight on the June 23rd bill, against a TBA) was set to have faced Kendal Holt in an IBF 140-pound eliminator on June 22nd, but the 27-year-old is ready to move up in weight to face Ortiz now that “Rated R“ has withdrawn from that bout.

Turning pro at 130-pounds back in early 2003, Lopez soon moved up to lightweight and then light-welterweight. Tough and durable (never stopped as a pro), Lopez has looked good in his last two outings. Beating the previously unbeaten Mike Dallas Jr. by 7th-round KO back in January of 2011, Lopez almost too the “O” of another up-and-coming wannabe star after that. Facing the hyped Jessie Vargas last September, somewhat ironically on the big Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz card, Lopez was deemed unlucky to have lost a ten-round split decision.

Hitting Vargas a lot, Lopez made the Mayweather-hyped “next big thing” look ordinary. Had Lopez not been penalised for a low blow in the 8th-round, he would have come away with a draw. Lopez can fight, there is no doubt about it. Ortiz will overlook and underestimate his likely replacement at his peril.

Ramirez, who also trains Lopez, told Rafael that his fighter has already done five weeks in the gym and that he will merely have to get in new sparring partners so as to get ready for Ortiz’ southpaw stance. Lopez, who will get a career-high payday, cannot wait for his big opportunity. Ramirez says his fighter, a pressure fighter, will put it on Ortiz, a guy who doesn’t like the heat.

Ortiz has quit before; could he do so again if Lopez fights the fight of his life in June?

Article posted on 21.05.2012

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