By Jake Donovan
Humberto Soto returns to the ring on November 10, fighting for the first time since a devastating 5th round knockout at the hands of Lucas Matthysse this past June televised live on Showtime.
The former three-division titlist takes on Jose ‘Piston’ Lopez in a welterweight fight, which tops a card at Estadio Morelos in Ecatepec, Mexico. While the future remains unclear for Soto (58-8-2, 34KO), next Saturday serves as his chance to prove that he still has something left to offer the sport.
“I’ve fallen before and gotten back up, this time won’t be any different,” Soto says of the aftermath of his first stoppage loss in more than a decade. “Before the fight with Matthysse, I had personal problems that affected me in the fight. I was not focused on the fight and lost, but I have the experience and the ability to get up again.”
Lopez (17-2-1, 10KO) has remained unfazed by the status of his opponent, nor will he enter the ring short on confidence.
“I am totally focused on this fight,” Lopez insists. “The only surprise on this night is that I’ll shock everyone who doesn’t believe me. My preparation is as good or better than for any other fight. Of course, I am facing the most important (fighter) in my career.”
Claiming notable scalps has become his calling card. The 21-year old scored an upset win over Jorge Paez Jr. last May, four months after humiliating former featherweight champ Cesar Soto.
While not perfect by any stretch, Lopez was competitive in his three non-winning performances. Most notably among the lot, he offered a spirited performance in a points loss to unbeaten Viktor Postol on the road earlier this year in Kiev, Ukraine.
Two wins have since followed, including a convincing – if strangely scored – points win over countryman Jose Emilio Perez in Guadalajara this past August. Still, Lopez looks to his own losses as motivation. He believes opponents – namely Soto – see in front of them a raw and inexperienced pug.
“No disrespect to Zorrita, but I will beat him to the punch and force him to quit,” Lopez promises. “They are very confident, they think I’m a newbie. On November 10 they can join the group of doubters who will be surprised. I will destroy the legend. The 10th is my night, nobody will stop me.”
The 12-round welterweight bout will air live in Mexico on Televisa.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox