Marcos Maidana has promised to go to war with Josesito Lopez when the pair clash in California on June 8. The welterweight duo meet in a fight that could see the winner once again battling for world title honours.
Former light-welterweight champion Maidana was all at sea against Devon Alexander on his first appearance in the higher weight class, but has now settled down at 147lb with two stoppage wins since. And he is looking to re-establish himself as an elite-level fighter with a big performance against Lopez, who stunned Victor Ortiz almost 12 months ago.
"I know Josesito is a great fighter," said Maidana, who suffered a narrow loss to Amir Khan three years ago. "I know he likes to stand and trade and fight. That's what I do and that's why it's going to be such an exciting fight.
"My plan is to go toe-to-toe. I don't know what Josesito is going to do, but that's what I plan to do. Pressure is the key to the fight.
"I'm feeling great. I've been in Oxnard, California for over a month already. I love training there. The weather is great and it's where my coach (Robert Garcia) is. It's going to be a great fight and I'm going to defend the honor of Argentina.
"The 147-pound division is where I feel best. I didn't feel that way at 140. Now I'm free and I can eat more. My body is different and you can see the definition."
Lopez, coming into the fight on the back of a loss to the much-bigger Saul Alvarez, believes he can utilise his skills to pull off the win.
"I'm so excited about this fight and I'm the one receiving the punches. I can only imagine how excited the fans are," he said.
"Years ago before I was at this level I thought, 'Man, this would be an exciting fight. I would love to get in there and bang with him.' Now we're here. It's a hell of a match-up. It could be the fight of the year.
"This is a fight I have to win. It's a fight that keeps me on the map. This is where I want to be and I'm working my ass off.
"He's a strong puncher and I like to think I have a little punch myself. In the ring I just have to be smart whether it's defense on the inside or boxing on the outside. I have to be the smarter fighter and whatever works that's what I'm going to have to do.
"We have to be smart and shoot our jab. We have to pick our spots and not let him. He's an inside fighter and he likes to bang. Well, I like to bang too. I've got to be in a position where I want to be, not where he wants me to be."Tags: Josesito Lopez , Marcos Maidana , Maidana-Lopez , Maidana vs. Lopez