By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
It was a beautiful Tuesday in the “City of Angels” as WBC super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (40-0-1, 29KOs) and WBC silver welterweight champion Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18KOs) were on hand Tuesday at Father Sera Park at the historic Placita Olvera (Olvera Street Plaza) in Los Angeles to officially announce their September 15 showdown taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In attendance and welcoming everyone was Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who described the magnitude of the event. “This card is going to be like a pay-per-view you don’t have to pay for. This will be a free-per-view,” he said. “Heart counts a lot in boxing and Canelo better be careful because Josesito is going to come to break Canelo’s jaw like he did to Victor Ortiz. These two deserve to fight on this day and Josesito has earned it the hard way with his fists!”
The Golden Boy, Oscar de la Hoya, followed as he welcomed everyone in attendance, echoing Schaefer’s words in Spanish as he made introductions. Afterwards he stated “When we made this card I told my matchmakers we wanted explosive fights and needed Mexicans to represent,” De la Hoya said.
The fighters then made their way as Josesito Lopez was introduced by his promoter Ken Thompson. “When he gets in the ring he is dangerous. He will break your jaw. He is exciting and will knock you out. He is ready,” Thompson said in welcoming his fighter.
Josesito welcomed everyone in Spanish and English. “September 15 will be a very big day for boxing. I will train my hardest. June 23 I trained really hard for that opportunity and September 15 I have an even bigger opportunity with a bigger fighter, all I can do is train my hardest and give it my all. The best man will win,” Lopez said.
Canelo followed afterwards welcoming the fans in attendance as many at Placita Olvera chanted “Canelo!”
“I am happy with this fight Josesito Lopez earned his shot for September 15. It will be great fight. Inside the ring I won’t be overconfident. I will train my hardest so I can come out victorious,” Alvarez said. “I am proud and happy to be representing Mexico my county and on September 15 we will be chanting, ‘Viva Mexico!’”
Alvarez is coming off a dominating performance in a unanimous decision win over Sugar Shane Mosley last May, as he is now sets his sights on Lopez. Originally Alvarez was scheduled to take on Paul Williams but unfortunately Williams was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him paralyzed and the search was on for a new opponent for Canelo. On the list was the heavy handed James Kirkland but shoulder surgery and negotiations kept Alvarez Kirkland from being made. So Golden Boy penciled in “Vicious” Victor Ortiz as Canelo Alvarez next opponent for September 15. Ortiz however was scheduled to take on Josesito Lopez before facing Canelo and Lopez stopped Ortiz and once again the search was on for Canelo’s next opponent.
“Well I train to fight. I will fight with whoever my promoter, being Golden Boy, puts me up against. Josesito earned the opportunity. That’s why we are here,” Alvarez told Fightnews.com. “Josesito is a fighter that can do many things inside the ring one of them is surprise you but we will prepare ourselves to prevent that from happening. Expect the best from me I will prepare myself one hundred percent and give it the best in the ring.”
The pride of Riverside Josesito Lopez pulled off the biggest win of his career last month with a ninth round TKO win over Victor Ortiz at the Staples Center, with the win that would open the door for big fights and wouldn’t you know with Lopez spoiling Ortiz plans for Canelo. Last week it was speculated that Lopez was the front runner to be Saul Alvarez next opponent and that leaves us here.
“It’s a huge opportunity I had a big opportunity a few weeks ago against Ortiz and an even bigger one against Canelo,” Josesito told Fightnews.com. “He is a good fighter and a world champion for a reason. I think I am a much better fighter than most people think. Weight will make a difference but not a big difference. I think intelligence inside the ring and having the better game plan will make the difference.”
Mexican Independence day weekend will once again be celebrated by boxing fans a tradition that began back in the 90’s with Julio Cesar Chavez as well as Oscar de la Hoya. The last time Showtime televised a quadruple header on Mexican Independence day weekend was September of 1994, Unfinished Business pay per view Chavez vs. Taylor II. This will be a big night of boxing for fight fans as Showtime will present a quadruple header one night prior to Mexican Independence day as Mexico City’s WBC Featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez (52-7, 45KOs) will take on former world champion Daniel Ponce de Leon (43-4, 35KOs) of Cuahtemoc, Chihuaha Mexico who will co-headline the Showtime quadruple header for Gonzalez WBC featherweight title. The card also includes Argentinian slugger Marcos Maidana (31-3, 28KOs) as he will be taking on Jesus Soto- Karass (26-7-3, 17KOs) of Los Mochis, Mexico in a ten round welterweight bout which promises to be a slugfest, also being considered to being added on the card is WBC Super Bantamweight champion Abner Mares. Interestingly this card will be going head to head against HBO’s PPV Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez which will take place down the road at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
“We will not charge you for pay-per-view money. This is free on Showtime and a night to remember,” Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza said.