Ortiz vs Lopez: Why Vicious Will Overlook Josesito
Victor Ortiz and Josesito Lopez are set to square off in a welterweight bout that could end up having title-fight ramifications for both fighters.
Vicious comes into this bout as a heavy favorite against Lopez. Josesito is, of course, the replacement for Andre Berto, who got injured before his rematch with Ortiz in February and later failed a drug test during training camp that knocked him out of this showdown.
This fight might look like an easy one for Ortiz, but Lopez shouldn't be taken lightly by any stretch of the imagination. With a title fight in his sights, Vicious must be careful that he doesn't fall into the trap of overlooking his opponent.
Here's why Ortiz might do that.
Lopez's First Welterweight Bout
This bout will be Lopez's first in the welterweight division. Previously, Lopez fought out of the super-featherweight division and has progressively moved up during his career.
The only man alive that can move up weight classes and not lose a step has proven to be Manny Pacquiao. While Lopez is not even close to being on that level, he has had success, with a 29-4 record throughout the course of his ever-changing frame.
Lopez will be expected to lose a step or two in quickness, making it easier for Ortiz to catch and pummel his opponent.
But Lopez is an aggressive fighter who will bring the pressure right to Ortiz's doorstep and as a result might end up out-throwing Vicious.
Not to mention, with only an inch less of reach, Lopez is built to hang with not only Ortiz, but the welterweight division as well.
Potential Title Fight With Canelo Alvarez
According to Bob Velin of USAToday.com, it's considered almost certain that the two will face off in a September 15 bout for Alvarez's title, and that won't be far out of Ortiz's mind. He's only human, so it wouldn't be surprising if that is Vicious' thought process coming into this fight.
But at least for 12 rounds, Ortiz must focus on the task at hand, and that is beating Lopez.
It'll be tough to focus with visions of championship belts dancing in his head, but that's exactly what Vicious must do.
Granted, this match might be boring in comparison to what a title fight with Alvarez would be, but Vicious must remember that without a win against Lopez, that fight won't happen, per the same article. Instead, Ortiz would be pushed back in line to fight the welterweight champ.
If that isn't enough motivation to take Lopez seriously, I don't know what is.
Ortiz has quite the resume of fighters in his past, with losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana as well as a big win over Berto.
Lopez doesn't have the same proven skills of some of Ortiz's past opponents, but Josesito could surprise Vicious with his power.
After all, Josesito does have 17 career knockouts, and you don't get that many by punching like my 90-year-old grandfather.
Still, Ortiz might have the "been there, done that" mentality, having seen and taken it on the chin from some of the best fighters in the world. But if those fights proved anything, it's that Ortiz's jaw isn't exactly made of stone.
Ortiz could be a candidate to be knocked out, and if he doesn't take Lopez's power seriously, he could end up on his rear-end in this bout.
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