Tomorrow night's Showtime main event between Canelo Alvarez and Josesito Lopez may not be the fight this weekend, but there's definitely buzz around this main event, too -- making this quite a weekend to wrap up a crazy, sometimes shocking, and definitely eventful week of boxing.
[ Staff Picks: Gonzalez vs Ponce De Leon ]
[ Weights: Canelo 154, Lopez 153 ]
BLH staffers Brent Brookhouse (who will handle live coverage tomorrow), Scott Christ, Eddie Gonzalez, Kory Kitchen, Matt Mosley, and Lee Payton weighed in with their picks for the fight. Read those after the jump.
Canelo tends to get touched a little bit by his opponents and Lopez is nothing if not a ballsy little bastard. But the fact that "little" is in play is the biggest issue here. A guy who fights like Lopez will and is a legit junior middleweight would be a hell of a fight for Canelo. But Lopez is going to feel every shot Canelo throws far more than will happen in the other direction. Lopez will be quicker, he can try to get in and out a little bit and he'll land some shots. But the shots he takes are going to be what break him down.
I want to give Josesito some sort of credit for the Ortiz win and say something like "Lopez winning wouldn't shock me," but yet, it would. This is just not a good fight for him and Canelo will finish him inside of seven.
I really, really like Josesito Lopez -- who doesnt? You? Then GEEEET OOOUUUUUT! -- but I just can't see him winning this fight. His only chance to do that is to come out guns blazing and mess Canelo Alvarez up. Josesito broke Victor Ortiz's jaw, so I can't say he didn't "earn" this fight, especially considering that Golden Boy had Paul Williams and Victor Ortiz both signed up at different points, and James Kirkland was offered the fight on two separate occasions. They tried to match Canelo with a bigger name opponent, but the tragedy of Williams being paralyzed is something no one could have seen coming, and Kirkland's got his own issues. As for the other guy, again, Lopez broke his jaw. So here he is. Still, Canelo is not just the bigger, sturdier guy at 154 pounds, but I simply think he's the better fighter. I do expect this to be a very enjoyable fight to watch, though, and far from the last time we see the gritty Lopez on TV. Canelo via TKO-11.
I really want to pick Josesito Lopez. He's a great story, and the winner of my favorite fight of 2012 so far, but I just can't. 154 has too be him biting off more than he can chew. That on top of Canelo being a truly elite talent should make this academic. In the bigger scheme of things this is just a stepping stone to a possible big money fight in May with Miguel Cotto (or Floyd Mayweather) for Canelo Alverez. Crazy things have happened this year, yes, but this won't be one of them. Referee stoppage after Canelo makes it obvious over 9 rounds that he's just better. Canelo TKO-9.
I have enjoyed Lopez and his story, but I fear the fairytale will end here. Canelo will be a different challenge for him than Victor Ortiz, especially when he is unlikely to sneak up on him the way he did Ortiz. The size difference here is legitimate. Lopez is tall, but Canelo is naturally a bit thicker, stronger. Look for the early rounds to be a bit "feel ‘em out" with Lopez landing the occasional "Oh he might have a chance!" shot. However, as the rounds pass, Canelo will settle into more of a rhythm and will shake off Lopez's shots without too much difficulty. He will be in clear control by the late rounds, and hurt Lopez a few times down the stretch. Lopez can go back to 147 and be a factor, but this may be too big of a mountain for him to climb. Canelo by clear decision.
I believe this fight is closer than the bookies do, with one UK oddsmaker having Lopez as big as a 12-1 underdog. I'm pretty sure he is considerably more live than that. Granted, Alvarez isn't a reckless fighter, as Lopez' last opponent Victor Ortiz can often be, getting drawn into brawls, but then Lopez is one tough hombre with a lot of heart who more or less forces his opponent to fight. Canelo likes to stay cool and composed for the most part though, and i think he will box Lopez here and not get too involved in a war, although he may start to look for the finish in the later rounds.
Although he is has only recently come up from 140lbs and is of a slim build, Lopez is a bit taller than Canelo and, who knows, maybe he will carry the extra weight better than most are expecting. Alvarez, in my mind, is a pretty special fighter, not destined for the very top P4P, but somewhere around the level of a Miguel Cotto, for example. I don't think Lopez is destined for those heights, but I do know that he comes to fight and I think he will make Alvarez work hard for the victory, maybe even shaking him a little once or twice along the way. Canelo by UD, 117-111.
Canelo will probably win the fight one way or another, but I am excited to see him face a live body for a change. Lopez will make Alvarez fight for it. The hype job will not be able to screw around in there as he has been doing lately. He is going to have to let his hands go to keep the fearless underdog off. I will take Canelo by decision or possibly late stop on facial damage. These tiny steps up are beginning to becomes excruciating though.
Final Tally: Canelo Alvarez 6, Josesito Lopez 0.