By Keith Idec
Josesito Lopez waited nine years for the type of professional opportunity he exploited Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Developing patience has left the brave brawler well-equipped to remain calm as he awaits word on his next fight. But as the decision-makers at Golden Boy Promotions plot Plan B after Lopez’s upset victory over Victor Ortiz, Lopez’s co-promoter made it clear Lopez will accept any challenge he is presented.
Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs, 1 NC) is contractually committed to a rematch with Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs), but Dan Goossen said Monday that Lopez is more than willing to move up one more weight class to challenge Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas.
“Nothing’s out of the question,” Goossen said. “We have no problem doing anything next.”
Alvarez’s handlers are scheduled to meet with Golden Boy Promotions executives Tuesday in Los Angeles to start determining who’ll replace Ortiz as Alvarez’s opponent. Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy’s chief executive officer, said after Lopez pulled off a huge upset that Lopez was a potential replacement for Ortiz.
The obvious drawback to making Alvarez-Lopez is that Lopez, of Riverside, Calif., has fought just once at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds. The 5-foot-9½ Lopez weighed just 144¾ for the Ortiz bout, but he isn’t intimidated by the prospect of advancing to 154 pounds for a shot at the 5-9 Alvarez’s WBC super welterweight title.
“He told us [he wants] whatever the best opportunity is,” Goossen said. “Obviously, we went outside of his weight division to take this fight. It’s not uncommon to go up two weight divisions, or maybe he’ll go back down to 140. But the bottom line is he’s full of confidence and feels he can take on any challenge out there.”
If Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs) faces someone other than Lopez on Sept. 15, Lopez might have to wait until early 2013 to return to the ring for a rematch against Ortiz. The southpaw from Ventura, Calif., had a titanium plate and three screws inserted in his jaw during surgery Monday and could need as many as six months to recover.
“I think they’re sitting back, trying to evaluate their best move right now,” Goossen said of Golden Boy Promotions. “There’s plenty of time to make decisions on where we’re moving forward. We also want to see where Ortiz is and how long he may be out. There are a lot of moving parts right now.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.