By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
Last June, current WBC Silver welterweight champion Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs) came in to the ring as a big underdog as he faced, “Vicious” Victor Ortiz at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Lopez was a replacement after Ortiz’ original opponent Andre Berto tested positive for a banned substance. Josesito, moving up a weight division, found himself facing the physically biggest opponent of his career in Ortiz, who already had a bout lined up to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. But Josesito pulled off the upset. After nine rounds of non-stop action, citing a broken jaw Ortiz didn’t come out for the tenth round. That gave Lopez the role of spoiler, as well as his Rocky moment in pulling the upset and winning the WBC Silver welterweight title. Canelo seated at ringside shook his head in disbelief. Ultimately it was decided that Josesito would move up in weight again to face Alvarez on September 15.
Fightnews.com spoke with “The Pride of Riverside, California” to get his view on the amazing developments in his career in recent months.
How is training camp coming along?
It’s been great. We’ve had a great camp. Having not to focus on dropping weight is completely opposite of what I’m used to. My boxing session is in the morning from 10:30AM till about 1PM and in the evening from 6-8PM I work on strength and conditioning. We’ve had great sparring and lots of rounds with 160 pounders. We got big guys in there trying to knock my head off. We put in some really hard work and time in the gym.
What have you done differently in terms of weight for this fight?
I have been working differently with my strength and conditioning coach. He has me on a good diet to maintain my weight and stay strong.
Saul Alvarez, what does he bring to the ring in terms of his style and qualities?
Canelo is a world champion for a reason, a good strong fighter. He fights at his own pace because the fighters he has faced have let him fight at his pace and he has looked good. I have to be the one to test him because he has not been tested.
You came into the ring facing Ortiz as the underdog once again you find yourself as the underdog does that motivate you?
I love being in this position as an underdog that gives me motivation and I proved it in my last fight, Saul is good fighter but not invincible.
Your fight with Canelo at the MGM Grand will be competing against the other fight across town Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez taking place at the Thomas & Mack Center, what is your take?
As a boxing fan it is pretty exciting with two boxing cards that night but I can care less about that fight and what happens, I have a big fight ahead of me to focus on.
How do you feel fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend?
It is a tradition that goes back. I can remember watching some good cards on that weekend, last year I opened up the card against Jesse Vargas now a year later I will headline against Canelo.
What can we expect from Josesito Lopez?
It is fair to say Canelo is going to have a live fighter in front of him that will fight back. I can’t wait to show I can do this. I have been waiting for this my whole life I am in it and will take advantage of it. I am ready to fight and ready for him.