By Francisco Salazar and Rocco Morales at ringside
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
In the biggest fight of his career, Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs) moved up to welterweight made former WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) quit after nine rounds on Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It was a hard fought clash with good two-way action. Josesito seemed to be getting the edge as the bout progressed. Ortiz quit in his corner after round nine citing a possible broken jaw. With the upset win, Josesito torpedos Ortiz’ September 15 PPV showdown with WBC 154lb champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in Las Vegas. At the time of the stoppage, Ortiz was ahead 86-85, 87-84, 88-83.
Jr welterweight contender Lucas Matthysse (31-2, 29 KOs) scored a fifth round TKO over multi-division former world champion Humberto Soto (58-8-2, 34 KOs). Matthysse, who has dropped controversial decisions in previous US fights, took it out of the judges’ hands when he dropped Soto hard at the end of round five and Soto was unable to continue.
Junior middleweight Jermell Charlo scored a one-punch knockout over Denis Douglin in the fifth round of a scheduled 10 round bout. After Charlo (18-0, 9 KOs) controlled the first two rounds, Douglin came back strong in the third round. Charlo was the more-effective fighter in the fourth round. In the fifth round, Charlo landed a counter right hand to the head, dropping Douglin onto his back. Douglin (14-2, 8 KOs) struggled to get to his feet and when he did, staggered towards the ropes. Referee Wayne Hedgpeth promptly wave the fight over at 1:12.
Jr welterweight Omar Figueroa (18-0-1, 15 KOs) overwhelmed Alain Hernandez (18-11-2, 10 KOs) and landed punishing combinations at will, driving Hernandez into the ropes and prompting a somewhat quick stoppage by referee, Jose Cobian. Time of the stoppage was 1:34 of the first round and it was an accumulation of punches rather than one single shot that hurt Hernandez. Hernandez, at least 4 inches shorter than Figueroa, seems better suited for the bantamweight division than the lightweight division.
Junior featherweight Randy Caballero stopped Jamal Parram in the fifth round of a scheduled eight round bout. Caballero (15-0, 8 KOs) was the quicker and more aggressive fighter, landing straight right hands to the head and body. The southpaw Parram (5-6-1, 4 KOs) would either try to counter Caballero with one punch or hold as Caballero came forward. Caballero hurt Parram by attacking the body in the fourth round, eventually dropping him three times in the fifth round with left hooks to the body. After the third knockdown in the round, referee Jose Cobian stopped the bout at 1:50.
Junior middleweight Michael Finney won a harder-than-expected four round unanimous decision over Joel Vargas. Finney (9-0, 7 KOs) was the stronger and effective puncher, but Vargas (3-7-1, 3 KOs) held his ground, landing his share of punches. Finney would have benefited using a jab, but traded shots with Vargas, landing the more effective punches. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Vargas. Finney is trained by Robert Garcia.