Ortiz vs. Lopez, Officially announced in L.A!
Former World Champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz and popular contender Josesito Lopez held a press conference in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday to formally announce that Lopez will step in to face Ortiz, of Ventura, Calif., by way of Garden City, Kansas, for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Welterweight title in the main event of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader on Saturday, June 23, at STAPLES Center live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
It was also announced on Wednesday that the Ortiz vs. Lopez event will include top-rated heavyweight Chris Arreola (35-2, 30 KO’s), of Riverside, Calif., in a 10-round bout against an opponent to be determined. Those two fights will join the previously announced 12-round bout between Humberto Soto and Lucas Matthysse for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight title.
Lopez (29-4, 17 KO’s), of Riverside, replaces Ortiz’s (29-3-2, 22 KO’s) original opponent Andre Berto who failed a pre-fight drug test.
The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Goossen Tutor Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Corona, DeWalt Tools and AT&T. Soto vs. Matthysse is presented in association with Baja Boxing Promotions and Arano Box Promotions.
Tickets priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50 are available for purchase online at www.staplescenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com or via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800)745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Staples Center box office. All tickets purchased for Ortiz vs. Berto II will be honored for this event.
Here’s what the participants had to say on Wednesday:
“I’m not taking anyone for granted at all. Josesito is a great fighter. We share one thing in common, and that’s a lot of heart. It’s going to be a great night. He’s ready to fight, and that makes two of us.
“It’s too bad (that Berto failed the drug test), but at the end of the day we have to prepare for another champion, and that’s Josesito Lopez.
“I’ve been training for more than six months for this fight, but that’s what world champions do. I have to be prepared to fight anyone if I want to prove that I’m the best.
“Lopez is a warrior and I know he’ll come to fight on June 23.
“Josesito knows this is a huge opportunity for him on a big stage. That’s why I can’t take him lightly.”
“I’m excited about this opportunity. I’ve been in training and working hard.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I plan to take advantage of it.
“People who have seen me fight know I’m tough and I leave it all in the ring. Once you see me fight, you’ll fall in love with my style. I plan to win over some of Victor’s fans on June 23.
“It’s no secret that Victor has a weak chin and I plan to exploit that. I’ll be looking for the knockout. If not, I know I’ll need to win 10 out of the 12 rounds to walk out of there a champion. I can’t leave it in the judges’ hands.
“I’m aggressive, I like to bang. I like to come forward and put the pressure on my opponents.”
“It’s an honor to be fighting at STAPLES Center again. The last time I left here I was dejected. I was in tears because I had just lost the biggest fight of my career. It was embarrassing, but I’m going to leave here with my hands in the air on June 23.
“My job is to put the fight in my hands. I’m going to get the knockout and give the fans what they want to see. I’m not going to leave it to the judges.
“The difference between this fight and the last time I fought at STAPLES is I’m in shape. I’m training and ready to fight.
“The fact that I could challenge (Wladimir) Klitschko isn’t a distraction, it’s motivation, but I can’t look past June 23 if I want to win a world title.”