By Lee Bates
WBO super flyweight champion Jose ‘Carita’ Lopez (39-7-2, 32 KOs) of Puerto Rico will look to successfully defend his title for the first time this Friday against Marvin Sonsona (13-0, 12 KOs) of the Philippines. The bout will take place at the Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, Canada. Fightnews caught up with the PR Best Boxing (Ivan & Peter Rivera) promoted Lopez as he closed out his training camp. Lopez spoke on his upcoming defense against Sonsona.
Have you seen video footage on Sonsona?
Yes I have. He has very good hand speed and is a hard puncher but its nothing I haven’t seen in 48 professional fights. I’m very well prepared.
You have been in main events before but this is the first time you will enter as the defending world champion. How are excited are you about that?
I have been in a lot of main events including my title winning fight, but you’re right as that fight was for the vacant world title and I entered as a challenger. Thinking about it now does add extra motivation for me being the headliner as the defending world champion for the first time. I’ve been a professional since 1991 so it’s been a long time coming.
With him having the height and reach advantage on you do you feel you have to fight him at close range?
With me being 5’5 and him at 5’7 I really don’t see him having that much of a height advantage. He also is coming after my world title so expect him to be aggressive and not fight at a distance. If he does fight at a distance I will be prepared.
Do you expect that your experience will be the key to your success in this fight?
Me being the better fighter that night is my key to victory. I can’t just come in the ring thinking because I’m more experienced that I will win the fight on that alone. I have to be prepared for whatever Sonsona brings and prove that I’m the better fighter based on my performance.
You have fought a number of times on the road as a world title challenger so I would expect that fighting in Canada is nothing new for you?
Other than the fact this will be my first time fighting in Canada it will be business as usual for me as I´ve fought in several countries in my career outside my native Puerto Rico. My fight will be televised in Puerto Rico so a lot of fans will be watching and supporting me. My plan is to return to Puerto Rico with my world title.