“Canelo” Alvarez-Victor Ortiz Announced For Sept. 15th - Josesito Lopez To Get First Crack At Ortiz In June 23rd Bout

By James Slater: As has been announced by Golden Boy, unbeaten Mexican sensation and reigning WBC light-middleweight king Saul “Canelo” Alvarez finally has an opponent for his September 15th fight in Las Vegas. With the tragically injured Paul Williams out and James Kirkland pricing himself out (also, James’ shoulder issue proved significant in him not getting the fight he wanted; and may still get at a later date), Alvarez needed a Pay-Per-View-worthy foe fast.

He now has one in former WBC welterweight champ Victor Ortiz. Ortiz, who will still go ahead with his possibly risky fight with Josesito Lopez on June 23rd in L.A, will move up to 154 to challenge Alvarez, 40-0-1(29) less than three months later. Both Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer, in tagging the Sept 15th card that will also feature Jhonny Gonzalez defending his featherweight belt against countryman and former super-bantam titlist Daniel Ponce De Leon “Knockout Kings,” are fully expecting Ortiz to come through okay against Lopez.

Still, as is the case in ANY fight, anything can happen. ESPN’s Dan Rafael asked Schaefer what would happen if Lopez pulled the upset later this month, and the Golden Boy CEO simply said there is “a contingency plan” in place for said situation. But Schaefer didn’t go into specifics, stating only that if Lopez were to beat Ortiz, he would not get the fight with Alvarez. It sure will be interesting to see what will happen if live underdog Lopez - 29-4(17) and never stopped, also a former super-featherweight and lightweight who moved up to 140 in 2008 - does manage to shock Ortiz, 29-3-2(22).

Indeed, Lopez may feel slighted over the way Golden Boy have already planned Ortiz’ next fight. Maybe this slight will serve to motivate the Henry Ramirez-trained Riverside warrior even further?

On paper, however, Alvarez-Ortiz is a damned good match-up. Both have exciting, fan-friendly styles (when Ortiz is not doing crazy stuff like deliberately head-butting his opponent, that is!) and both look for the KO. Both guys are also young, close to their prime and hungry. Personally, I’d have preferred to have seen a healthy James Kirkland rumble with “Canelo” (and, again, maybe this fight will still happen one day), but this new match-up can’t fail to please.

Not unless Lopez spoils things with an upset win a week on Saturday, anyway.

Article posted on 13.06.2012

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