Josesito Lopez will get a big opportunity, as he's been selected to face Victor Ortiz on June 23. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Victor Ortiz has a new opponent for his June 23 date at Staples Center in Los Angeles, as the former welterweight titlist will face Josesito Lopez on Showtime, according to ESPN.com. Ortiz was set to face Andre Berto in a rematch of their thrilling fight from 2011, but Berto tested positive for a steroid last week, scrapping that fight for the second time this year.
Heavyweight contender Chris Arreola will also be added to the June 23 show, making it a triple-header co-promoted by Golden Boy and Goossen Tutor. The scheduled fight between Humberto Soto and Lucas Matthysse is still on, so this a pretty nice card still, even with the loss of a major main event.
Lopez (29-4, 17 KO) hasn't fought since a nip-and-tuck, very debatable loss to Jessie Vargas on the Mayweather-Ortiz undercard last September, but was scheduled to take on Kendall Holt on June 22, which was to headline Friday Night Fights. Holt, however, bailed on the fight when he decided he didn't want to fight outdoors.
The chance to face Ortiz in a Showtime main event was just too good to pass up for Lopez and his team.
"(Golden Boy) offered the fight to us on Friday afternoon. I got a call from (Goossen Tutor Promotions matchmaker) Tom Brown saying we got the offer and I said, 'We'll take it,'" [trainer Henry] Ramirez said. "We're excited. We're ecstatic. Our job is to get the biggest fight out there for Josesito that we can for the best money we can get, and this is that fight."
The 27-year-old Lopez is a good, capable fighter, and should at least make for an entertaining scrap in this one. This is about as good a fight as you could get on a month's notice. Lopez is credible and will come to fight and win.
That said, obviously Ortiz should win this one, but the bigger thing is, I'm glad SHO approved this matchup. Ortiz really doesn't need to sit out any longer, which they understand, and it's a good move by the network to go with this and not try to force some "bigger" fight that just isn't there. It's not Ortiz's fault nor Showtime's that Berto failed his drug test and that fight is off.