Josesito Lopez has stepped up to the plate to face Canelo Alvarez on September 15. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Canelo Alvarez will likely be facing Josesito Lopez on September 15 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and the fight is going to air on CBS, according to ESPN.com's Dan Rafael. The CBS part would be the "history" that Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer have been pimping, rather than the actual fight itself.
Details have been agreed to, but the fight hasn't been signed yet. An announcement is expected as early as tomorrow.
Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KO) has had this date locked in for a while, and has seen three different opponents fall through for the date. James Kirkland was the first rumored opponent, but he backed out. Paul Williams accepted the fight, and then was tragically paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. The fight went back to Kirkland, who accepted and talked it up, only to balk again. Victor Ortiz was then lined up if he could so much as fight to a draw with Josesito Lopez on June 23, but instead Lopez broke his jaw and won the fight.
The recent rumor was that Kirkland was going to get a major money offer and be brought back into the fight. That hasn't happened. Lopez (30-4, 18 KO), who recently signed with Al Haymon, will be moving up in weight yet again for the fight, taking a crack at Alvarez's WBC junior middleweight title. Ricardo Mayorga was also rumored.
Canelo and Golden Boy are going to meet some criticism for this. I know Lopez just pulled off a big upset, but this is about size. Lopez isn't even a full-fledged welterweight. The highest he's ever weighed in is 144¾, and that was for the Ortiz fight, where despite his win, he was definitely the smaller-bodied man in the ring. It was a great fight, and a great win, and there was talk after about Lopez even considering a move back to 140, which is a weight he can still make.
But he's getting an offer he just can't pass up here. If he can bulk up and pull this upset -- and Lopez can flat-out fight, there's no doubt about that -- and can take punches from a legitimate junior middleweight, then he's not just a guy who pulled an upset, he's a star fighter overnight, with Al Haymon behind him.
I wish him all the best. I really do. But I think they might be pushing him just a bit too far right now.
On the undercard, Jhonny Gonzalez will still be meeting Daniel Ponce De Leon in what promises to be an exciting fight, and Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell might be back against Johnathon Banks.
As for Golden Boy getting a fight on CBS, hey, they did it. They've been promising it for a few years, getting boxing back on network TV, and they've done it. It's a genuine accomplishment if that part of the deal is in fact true, and I've no reason to suspect that it isn't. It's going to be one big night of boxing on September 15.