By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Gene Blevins – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Argentinian slugger Marcos “El Chino” Maidana (33-3, 30 KOs) and Riverside’s Josesito Lopez (30-5, 18 KOs) kicked off the press conference for their welterweight showdown Monday afternoon at the Fonda Restaurant in Los Angeles. They will square off on June 8 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
“June 8 will be a great boxing event,” Oscar de la Hoya said in kicking off the press conference. “Both fights will position themselves for a world title as you know there are big names in those weight divisions. We should have called this card ‘high stakes’ because the winners will possibly be in line for a world title.”
Nonetheless both camps are ready and are expecting a tough task as Lopez and Maidana’s trainers shared their thoughts to the media.
“This is a can’t miss fight. Josesito and Maidana is a fight of the year candidate. It’s a fight that the fans are truly going to enjoy. I know Robert is preparing Maidana just like I am preparing Josesito I am expecting victory and they are expecting victory,” Lopez’ trainer Henry Ramirez said.
Maidana’s trainer Robert Garcia stated, “We have been training real hard for this fight. We know the importance of this fight. We know the type of fighter we have in front of us and can’t take him lightly. I know Josesito and his coach are doing the same. We are actually pretty good friends with Henry but this is the sport and the fans are going to enjoy the fight.
Josesito was introduced by his promoter Ken Thompson.
“One more time in LA and only in LA, Josesito Lopez the Riverside Rocky enters the ring there will be no judges needed. This fight will end with one fighter laying in the middle of the ring and the other standing with his hand raised. That fighter being Josesito Lopez, the Riverside Rocky,” Thompson proclaimed as he introduced Lopez
“I am excited and happy for June 8 for being in this position again,” Lopez told media. “This is my dream. I have worked my ass off for several years to be in this position to fight against the best. I am very appreciative to be in this position. We are training really hard for June 8 and plan on coming out with a victory.”
Maidana followed as he thanked his team and talked about his upcoming fight with Lopez.
“I want to thank everyone, Golden Boy Promotions and my team, Josesito is a strong rival that comes forward this will be a good fight,” Maidana said. “He likes to stand and trade. So do I. Each time I go in the ring I go toe to toe. I dont know what Josesito will do but that is what I do.”
For the 29 year old Argentinian slugger Marcos Maidana, this will be his third fight with 2012 Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia. Maidana relocated to Oxnard, California last year where he joined Robert Garcia and the two are hitting it off good. In their first bout together Maidana scored an eight round TKO over Jesus Soto Karass in a thrilling bout last September. Three months later in December Maidana scored a third round knockout over Angel Martinez in his native Argentina. Now he gets set to face the determined and dangerous Josesito Lopez.
“He is a tough hard opponent. He beat Victor Ortiz so I am preparing myself well in training camp here in Oxnard with Robert,” Maidana told Fightnews.com “I have to win this fight to stay in the hunt for a world title shot.
Lopez tyold us, Maidana is a come forward power puncher that’s what I am expecting. He is smart he has gotten better the past couple fights, so I have to be smarter than him inside the ring. I think a lot of it has to do working with Garcia the 2012 trainer of the year.”
Josesito Lopez will return to the ring after having a great year in 2012 as he burst on to the scene. Last June, Lopez stepped in to replace Andre Berto as Victor Ortiz’s opponent, in what was supposed to be Ortiz tune up bout for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Lopez was victorious in scoring the upset win as he stopped Victor Ortiz in the ninth round after Ortiz suffered a broken jaw at the hands of Lopez. Opportunity came once again for Lopez as he took on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez three months later. Lopez however was stopped in five rounds by Canelo, in giving a spirited and valiant effort. The pride of Riverside is excited to get back into the ring.
“I feel ready mentally I got the biggest fight up to date. Going into the Ortiz fight, I really wasn’t a welterweight. I was a blown up junior welterweight the move up to 154 has actually helped me get stronger and mold better into the welterweight division,” Lopez told Fightnews.com
“In that fight he fought against Canelo it has no significance for me because he was not fighting in his division but in welterweight. I have to be careful,” Maidana told Fightnews.com on Lopez last fight
Maidana vs. Lopez will be for Maidana’s WBA Inter-Continental welterweight and headline the Showtime Championship Boxing triple header. This matchup will pit boxer-puncher vs. slugger, Lopez a natural boxer with power in both hands against Maidana who is a brawler but recently has polished up his boxing skill under Robert Garcia. One thing is certain the winners that night will be the fans at the Home Depot Center and tuned in on Showtime both fighters are no strangers to backing down as both have proven in the past.
“June 8 I will fight every time I enter the ring. I go in to give it all and to win so does Josesito. I think he will fight, not box and it will be a great fight,” Maidana told Fightnews.com
“Come June 8 I am coming with everything. This is a great matchup so I am excited for myself and have prepared well. I will come out with the victory,” Lopez told Fightnews.com
Angulo vs. Lara
Also fighting on the Showtime card and in attendance were Mexican brawler Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (22-2, 18 KOs) and Erislandy Lara (17-1-2, 11KOs) of Cuba as they will square off in a twelve round junior middleweight bout. Angulo won a ten round unanimous decision over Jorge Silva in his last bout, while Erislandy Lara is coming off a controversial ninth round technical decision draw against Vanes Martirosyan.
“It will be an improtant fight June 8. We are working one hundred percent to come out with a victory,” Erislandy Lara said at the press conference. “I want to thank Angulo and his team for taking this opportunity and risk June 8 I will show who the best 154 pounder is.”
“June 8 I have a big fight with Erislandy Lara. He is a good fighter that I respect,” Alfredo Angulo said speaking English after cutting off matchmaker Eric Gomez as he was in the process of translating as Angulo has improved on his English. “We will give a great fight. The fight will be good for the fans,” Angulo concluded as he was given a round of applauses from everyone in attendance.
Charlo vs. Hopkins
Opening up the Showtime Championship Boxing tripleheader from Carson, California undefeated Jermell Charlo (20-0, 10 KOs) of Houston, Texas will take on Philadelphia’s Demetrius Hopkins (33-2-1, 13 KOs) in a 12 round junior middleweight bout. Originally Super Middleweights Sakio Bika and Marco Antonio Periban were scheduled to fight for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight title. That fight will now take place Saturday June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on the Malignaggi Broner undercard paving the way for Charlo-Hopkins.
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