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WBC Silver Welterweight Champion Josesito Lopez became boxing’s newest version of “Rocky” when he pulled off a shocking victory against Victor Ortiz last month at the Staples Center. With the win, the Riverside fighter has now earned his chance to take on Golden Boy superstar Canelo Alvarez on September 15 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This fiery clash will be for the WBC Light Middleweight title.
It’s going to be a “Showtime” moment once again for the humble yet confident Jose Lopez, hailing from Southern California. I caught up with the Mexican warrior at a recent charity event with the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row where the new champion was spending time with the homeless kids–offering them some words of encouragement and hope while giving back to the community.
“It’s always a great feeling to give back and maybe inspire some kids to keep hopes alive and never give up,” the fighter says.
Lopez knows a thing or two about being an underdog. And on the day when “Knockout Kings: Canelo vs. Lopez” was officially announced, I had time to chat with Jose about everything that’s happened since his stunning defeat of “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (who was set to face Canelo) by breaking his jaw in two places. How has life changed for Lopez since his shocking upset–and arguably the frontrunner for the “Upset of the Year”?
Just how many times has the victor watched the fight replay? How did those infamous “I Smell An Upset” T-shirts that Team Lopez wore come to fruition? And what were the reactions of his family, friends and stablemate Chris Arreola?
The boxer, co-promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions and Goossen Tutor Promotions, answers ALL your questions and more in my new video with the “Riverside Rocky.”
The 27-year-old tells me he is keeping his dreams alive, appreciative of all the new-found support as Josesito “The Jaw Breaker” Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs).
And he knows that he will be the huge underdog again, especially going up in weight to square off against the redheaded power puncher Canelo.
“If I was the underdog against Ortiz, I’m definitely going in as the underdog in the fight with Canelo,” he acknowledges during our conversation. “I’ll fight with my heart–I’ll fight till I can’t fight anymore. And I gotta fight the “Fight of My Life” again!”
Lopez and Alvarez held an event today at Placerita Olvera to announce their upcoming collision.
Canelo may be the betting favorite and Lopez may be undersized in this battle, but you can’t measure heart, will and determination.
Even with the odds stacked against him, Jose promises to fight with heart–giving it all he’s got. He is hoping his “Rocky” moment continues.
“I know I’m not the fastest and the strongest or best fighter out there, but if you try hard enough ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!” Lopez states with a nod.
A hero and role model to the kids and underdogs out there, Jose adds that he is happy to be motivating others who watched him pull off his come-from-behind victory versus Victor Ortiz.
Now his next task will be in trying to dethrone Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on September 15. And during today’s press conference, Golden Boy Promotions’ Oscar De La Hoya announced that the winner of the voted-upon “Best Knockout of the Night” will receive an extra $100,000.
So if Josesito Lopez manages to score a “Shock the World” KO, his pockets will be a little heavier too.
But for now, the “Riverside Rocky” is on top of the world, relishing last month’s stunning victory.
Michele Chong has been involved in the sport of boxing for over a decade. Her “Chatter Box” column covers a variety of subjects in both professional and amateur boxing, and features exclusive one-on-one interviews, recaps of fight events, shows and tournaments, book/film reviews and much more.
Inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008, she is also a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame, Golden State Boxer’s Association and the Burbank Boxing Club. Michele is also involved in many non-profit and charitable organizations.