By Jackie Kallen
This weekend’s fight between Victor Ortiz and Josesito Lopez is personal to me. I like both fighters personally, but Lopez is the man who handed my Junior-welterweight Michael Dallas, Jr. his first defeat on January 28, 2011. So in one way, I want Ortiz to flatten him. But on the other hand, I hope Lopez wins so the world will see that Dallas got beaten by a hell of a great fighter.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin / SHOWTIME
Ortiz, at 25 years old, is two years younger than Lopez. Two years is not a big deal. Ortiz is an inch shorter. Again–no significant difference. While Lopez has an orthodox stance, Ortiz is a southpaw. Will that effect Lopez?
There is not much of a hometown advantage for either man at Staples Center. Lopez is from Riverside, CA and Ortiz is from Oxnard, CA. They are both an hour or so away from the arena. However, Ortiz is originally from Kansas, so the fans may feel slightly more loyal to the CA-born Lopez.
Both men have been beaten before. Ortiz has lost three times, twice by KO. Lopez has lost four times, but has never been stopped. This may be a factor since the chin of Lopez may serve to neutralize the power of Ortiz.
When it comes to the caliber of their opposition, Ortiz wins hands-down having been in the ring with the likes of Mayweather, Berto, Lamont Peterson, Vivian Harris, Nate Campbell and Maidana. The biggest name on Lopez’s record is Jesse Vargas.
Another factor may be the fact that Ortiz has announced a September 15 fight against Canelo Alvarez. He must be pretty damned sure he can get past Lopez easily. Hopefully he’s not looking ahead to September and taking Lopez too lightly.
Naturally Ortiz is highly favored in the fight. That makes a bet on Lopez very appealing. He has the heart and determination to score an upset and I believe he will fight at the top of his game on Saturday night. How will Ortiz deal with the pressure if Lopez stays in his face and roughs him up? That remains to be seen.
Lopez has the opportunity of a lifetime in front of him and it will be interesting to see if he can rise to the occasion.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen