Lopez Breaks The Jaw And Spirit Of Ortiz
By Jason Petock, Doghouse Boxing (June 26, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
Victor Ortiz
With a bruised and battered face and a quickly swelling left eye, lionhearted boxer and newly crowned WBC Silver Welterweight title Champion, Josesito Lopez 30-4 (18) of Riverside, California came to fight against “Vicious” Victor Ortiz 29-4-2 (22) at the renowned Staples Center in Los Angeles, California this past Saturday evening. And fight he did. The constant exchanges between the two Mexican American Welterweights were heated, fierce, rapid paced, and unforgivingly brutal as Californian boxing fans were treated to a breathtaking night of captivating boxing and definitive, clear cut victory minus any controversy. Their bout began somewhat tentative from the opening round, but quickly picked up the pace as both fighters chose to throw caution to the wind and let the leather fly with crushing body blows, digging uppercuts and head jarring jabs and counterpunching leads that left the crowd in attendance electrified and those watching from home at the very edge of their seats. Prior to the fight Lopez stated candidly that his upcoming contest against Ortiz, “Smells like an upset.” In a true back and forth and total drag out brawl, Lopez fulfilled this prophecy when in the 9th Victor Ortiz could not continue due to a broken jaw administered in vicious fashion by a crushing left hand landed on Ortiz’s jaw, as Lopez won by TKO victory at 3:00.

Lopez broke down a game and determined Ortiz throughout the night, drilling the 25 year old with piercing body shots that wore down the southpaw who was scheduled to face Mexican sensation Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 40-0-1 (29) on September 15th for the WBC Light Middleweight strap. Alvarez was in attendance to witness Ortiz’s recent loss and seemed thoroughly entertained, clapping for the victorious Lopez, as he looks ahead for a replacement opponent with Victor out of the loop now. Let’s just hope that his replacement isn’t as worthy and challenging as Lopez was for Ortiz, or we could have another devastating upset in the works. Yet Alvarez is a whole different animal than Ortiz is, so that shouldn’t be a concern for the rising star. Lopez came to win and was far from just an opponent for Ortiz in a fight where he showed his lion’s heart and battered Victor Ortiz, although Lopez took just as much as he gave; a visual fact that remained obvious and could be read all over his swollen and black-and-blue face after the bout.

Punch stats of the evening showed a pretty even playing field more or less between the two, with Ortiz and Lopez trading shot for shot in an epic drama in the ring that definitely should be thrown in the hat for “Fight Of The Year” at this point, as suggested prior to the contest by Showtime commentator and recent BHOF inductee Al Bernstein. Ortiz vs. Lopez brought back everything that is still good about boxing. The thrilling anticipation of fight night. The tense and high profile weigh-in, where the sparks started to ignite early when both boxers were already geared up for battle and supercharged, almost parrying blows in front of an enthralled public while tipping the scales in their favor through their very fists. As Victor Ortiz exited the arena and headed back to his dressing room, clearly in pain and possibly a little shocked at the events that unfolded in a fight he was expected to dominate in dramatic fashion, a smiling and confident Josesito Lopez spoke calmly and with an even keel about his hard fought win. When questioned on who he would fight next, Lopez simply said, “As long as I’m ready I’ll take anybody.” He absolutely took on Ortiz in a slugfest that will not be easily forgotten in the minds of avid boxing purists for a long time to come.

I knew it was a close fight,” admitted Lopez. Dubbing himself “The Mexican Paul Williams” after his triumph over Ortiz (who fought a valiant effort even in defeat), Josesito has endeared himself to a hungry boxing public that has lost its appetite somewhat for the sport since being served cold leftovers in terms of repeated PED controversy among its competitors and the failure of top level competitions and challenging title defenses being made mandatory in boxing. Lopez is a breath of fresh air in a forum that was starting to begin to smell all too stale. His latest victory and spectacular boxing display has burned an indelible mark on the boxing landscape as his worth in the sport has now been multiplied that much further. One can only hope that Josesito Lopez takes all the hard work and dedication that he has put into the sport into account as he looks ahead to future opponents and even bigger paydays. If he can do that in the inevitable face of newfound stardom and the potential media buzz and swarm that awaits him in the next few weeks then he should be fine. Sometimes new stars often fade far sooner than the bright lights that illuminate them for their 15 minutes of glory. Let’s just hope for our sake that Lopez sticks around boxing for a little bit longer than that.

Jason can be reached with your questions, concerns, gripes, moans, complaints, insults or kudos at BoxingWarrior@hotmail.com. Your feedback is appreciated as always. Stay honest and keep punching.

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