It was officially announced today that popular contender Josesito Lopez, of Riverside, California, has been tapped to meet “Vicious” Victor Ortiz in the main event on Saturday, June 23, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Welterweight title, live on SHOWTIME. Lopez, who had been training for a June 22 bout that was canceled days ago, replaces Andre Berto following Berto’s failed pre-fight drug test which was revealed last Friday.
Ortiz vs. Lopez will headline a three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (live at 9 p.m. ET/PT, tape delayed on the West Coast) that now will include top rated heavyweight Chris Arreola in a 10-round bout against an opponent to be determined and the previously announced 12-round bout between Humberto Soto and Lucas Matthysse for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight title.
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. All tickets purchased for Ortiz vs. Berto II will be honored for this event.
The star of Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO’s) has been on the rise for the last few years, but in 2011, the native of Garden City, Kansas, finally put everything together for the entire world to see. The owner of wins over Mike Arnaoutis, Nate Campbell and Antonio Diaz, Ortiz stepped it up in April 2011 with a thrilling 12-round decision win over Berto that captivated the boxing world and earned him the WBC Welterweight Championship. Five months later, Ortiz would lose a controversial bout to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr., but on June 23, the 25-year old begins his quest to get back to the top of the division.
The latest in the line of talented contenders from Southern California, 27-year old Josesito Lopez (29-4, 17 KO’s) has the style and determination to add “championship” to his resume sooner rather than later. A boxer-puncher who isn’t afraid to mix it up, Lopez flew under the radar for the early part of his career, but after a controversial decision loss to Edgar Santana in 2008, fight fans started taking notice of him. Following a seven fight winning streak that included a knockout of unbeaten Mike Dallas Jr. in 2011, Lopez got a coveted undercard fight against Jessie Vargas last September beneath the Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz pay-per-view mega-fight. While he lost a razor-thin split decision which many ringside observers had him winning, he proved that he can compete at the highest level of the sport.
A big puncher with an even bigger personality, Riverside’s Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (35-2, 30 KO’s) has long been considered one of the best and most popular heavyweights in the game today. A former world title challenger who took on Vitali Klitschko at STAPLES Center in 2009, the 31-year old Arreola has since won eight of his last nine bouts, including knockouts of Raphael Butler and Eric Molina. With a world championship fight right around the corner, he will have a lot at stake when he enters the ring in front of his loyal hometown fans at STAPLES Center.