By Keith Idec
Saul Alvarez has tried to assure anyone who’s worried about him making the same mistakes Victor Ortiz made that he isn’t looking beyond Josesito Lopez.
The undefeated WBC super welterweight champion sat ringside as Lopez out-slugged Ortiz in their memorable welterweight brawl June 23 in Los Angeles. The emerging Mexican star understands that Lopez won’t be an easy out Saturday night in Las Vegas, even though Alvarez is comfortably entrenched at 154 pounds and Lopez has never weighed more than 144¾ for any of his 34 professional fights.
Ortiz, who suffered a broken jaw in the ninth round against Lopez, was supposed to challenge Alvarez on Saturday night at MGM Grand. With the enigmatic Ortiz’s failure fresh on his mind, Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs) has guarded against thinking about a potential fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. until he handles his business against Lopez (9 p.m. EDT; Showtime).
“I don’t think about that,” Alvarez said of possibly meeting Mayweather. “I really don’t. I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking about this fight. I have to fight Josesito Lopez. Obviously, there’s always rumors, people talking, but I’m thinking about this fight. But it’s no secret, I want to fight the best.”
Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs, 1 NC), of Riverside, Calif., is acutely aware that he is fighting one of the best boxers in the sport, despite Alvarez’s age (22).
“I understand the type of battle I’m going into,” Lopez said, “and to the best of my ability, I’m going to try to showcase my skills.”
The 28-year-old Lopez hopes, of course, that Alvarez actually is underestimating him, even if it’s a subconscious process.
“You know what?,” Lopez said in reference to an Alvarez-Mayweather showdown. “I really hope there’s no plans because, their plans, I’m coming to try to ruin those plans.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.