Josesito Lopez looks for lightening in the bottle
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (June 22, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
Josesito Lopez
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing: When Josesito Lopez enters the ring on June 23, he’ll be doing so as a clear-cut underdog. Lopez, a fill-in for Andre Berto, will be facing former two-time welterweight champion Victor “Vicious” Ortiz at The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Lopez (29-4, 17 KOs) lost a razor-thin decision to Jessie Vargas last year. It’s rare when a boxer loses a fight but gains a title-shot. Ortiz (29-3, 22 KOs) lost his welterweight crown to Floyd Mayweather last year. The title up for grabs June 23 is the WBC silver welterweight title.

Ortiz was supposed to be tangling with Berto in a rematch of their scintillating bout from last year. Originally scheduled for Feb 11, the bout was postponed after Berto tore his left biceps while training for the fight. Berto threw another monkey wrench in the rematch plans by testing positive for traces of steroids last month. Needing a replacement, Golden Boy Promotions called Lopez. The 27-year-old from Riverside  eagerly agreed to face Ortiz.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I plan to take advantage of it,” said Lopez at a press conference announcing the fight.

An underdog is usually a mix of the unknown, the unseen, and the unremarkable. Lopez might be unknown and unseen, but his boxing ability is impressive.

Lopez was born in Riverside, California. His amateur boxing career began at age eight.  After 70 amateur fights, Lopez turned professional. He won 16 of his first 17 bouts before losing a close decision to Wes Ferguson. He rebounded with seven consecutive victories, which included four by knockout. His loss to Edgar Santana was a shocker. Lopez floored the tough Puerto Rican twice in round eight, but still ended up on the wrong side of the decision.  

Undeterred by the Santana loss, Lopez soldiered on. He won his next seven fights in a row. In 2011, he faced undefeated Mike Dallas Jr. of Bakersfield, California for the vacant NABF light welterweight title. Lopez ignored a nasty cut over his eye to out punch Dallas in most of the rounds. Dallas wanted to box, but Lopez kept applying the pressure until Dallas wilted in round seven. The victory was the biggest of Lopez’s career and earned him an undercard fight against Jesse Vargas beneath the Floyd Mayweather - Ortiz mega-fight in Las Vegas. Lopez lost a  tight split decision. Many ringside observers felt he deserved the victory. had Lopez winning the bout by a point.

Ortiz, 25, had a very successful 2011, capped by a thrilling 12-round decision over Berto that earned him the WBC welterweight crown. Five months later, Ortiz would lose by knockout to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather. The bout was controversial. Mayweather was clearly winning, but Ortiz was competitive. In round four, Ortiz head-butted Mayweather in the mouth and apologized profusely. Unaware that referee Joe Cortez had called for the fight to continue, Ortiz was soon on the canvas, courtesy of a booming left hook right hand combo.

The Oxnard, California resident hasn’t laced up the gloves since, but his confidence appears unaffected by the Mayweather loss. He insists that he is not taking Lopez lightly.

“There is a dangerous fighter in front of me who is on the same path as I was a year ago before I fought Berto,” Ortiz told The Miami Herald. “But the difference here is I’m too hungry to let my chance go.”

Last week Golden Boy Promotions announced that Ortiz would fight super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez on September 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lopez didn’t like it.

‘I think it’s a screw up for Golden Boy for making the announcement,” said Lopez during a media conference call. “It’s not only disrespectful to me, but something that could wait.”

Lopez’s promoter Dan Goossen concurred with his fighter.

"I think we've got a very competitive fight," Goossen told "I think Lopez may be the underdog, but he's a live underdog. They've got a saying in other sports - where it's bulletin board comments like this that get teams fired up. And in this case, this is locker room material."

Ortiz is the more talented of the two fighters, but Lopez is arguably the more motivated. If Lopez can hurt Ortiz, an upset is possible. If he can’t, Ortiz should prevail

Follow and visit John on Twitter:!/johnboxing1

-- Questions/comments

For much more boxng headlines and videos, visit the homepage at DoghouseBoxing.

Write for Doghouse Boxing:

NEW: Follow Doghouse Boxing on FaceBook!
For more Boxing News 24/7 and so much more... 
visit our homepage now!

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing Inc. 1998-2012