LOS ANGELES – The final press conference for one of the most oft-discussed fight cards of the year – “Ortiz vs. Lopez” taking place this Saturday, June 23 and televised live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from STAPLES Center – took place Thursday before boxing media and fans, who turned out for the free-to-the-public event.
With much at stake, popular former World Champion Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO's), of Ventura, Calif., will take on former NABF Champion Josesito Lopez (29-4, 17 KO's), of Riverside, Calif., for the vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship in Saturday’s 12-round main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
In a collision of world-rated super lightweights in the 12-round co-feature, former Three-Time World Champion Humberto “Zorrita” Soto (59-7-2, 34 KO’s), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, will be opposed by hard-hitting, top-rated contender Lucas Matthysse (30-2, 28 KO’s), of Trelew, Argentina, for the vacant WBC Continental Americas 140-pound title.
Preliminary fights will be televised live on SHOWTIME EXTREME at 7 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). The featured televised prelim will be unbeaten Jermell Charlo (17-0, 8 KOs), of Houston, Texas, against Denis Douglin (14-1, 8 KOs), of Marlboro, N.J., in a 10-round junior middleweight scrap.
Tickets priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50 are available online at www.staplescenter.com , www.ticketmaster.com , via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800)745-3000 or at STAPLES Center box office. Fight live fight Saturday is at 2:30 p.m. PT. Doors at STAPLES Center open at 2 p.m.
Here are what the fighters and executives had to say Thursday from the press conference at STAPLES Center.
“Josesito, I take nothing from him. He’s a great fighter and I’ve been watching him as much as he’s been watching me. No disrespect on my end. We both plan to do one thing and that is to destroy each other. I will hold my hand up at the end. I’ve been working too hard. Tune in guys and thank you for checking out this fight. Get your beers and your chips and everything you need to get ready and come support us or check us out on SHOWTIME.”
“I am prepared for this fight. I have a very, very tough man ahead of me and I’m going to have to fight the fight of my life, but this is what I’m used to. I have prepared really well for this moment. I’ve had a tough training camp and I’m ready to get in there. This is an anxious moment to get in there and prove myself.”
“I’m very happy to be here in Los Angeles. It’s like my second home. I’m very well prepared for this fight. We know the level of fighter that Matthysse is. It’s the level of fighter that I have been asking for. The winners are going to be the fans. On Saturday you’re going to see a great fight.”
“I’m very happy that Golden Boy invited me back. Soto is a very good fighter. We’re excited and we’re going to put on a great fight.”
“I’m just coming to do what I have to do like I did last time. I’m going to show up and I’m going to do what Team Charlo does. I take no opponents for granted. I don’t look at him as an underdog. I look at myself as an underdog. When I walk in the ring I take it step by step. You’ll see Saturday.”
“I am really excited about this fight. I’m from the East Coast so a lot of you guys have probably never seen me before. It’s a tough fight. I’m really excited to fight Jermell. We’re both up-and-coming fighters. He’s 17-0. I’m 14-1. A lot of people probably look at me as the underdog, but I don’t look at myself that way. Look out for me.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA (President, Golden Boy Promotions)
“This event is an exciting one. We are really looking forward to it. We have two tremendous fighters who are hungry, who are just ready to go to war Saturday night. SHOWTIME is looking forward to it and all the people are looking forward to it. We are truly excited.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA (Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports)
“SHOWTIME has a long history of bringing boxing fans the best matchups, the most exciting, action- packed fights and this is a perfect example. We have Victor Ortiz, one of the most charismatic and entertaining stars in boxing. He is never in a bad fight and he is always exciting. And we have Josesito Lopez. For those of you who don't know the name, this is not an easy fight for Victor by any means and I want to take a moment to pay tribute to Josesito because when Andre Berto was no longer available to take this fight, there were a lot of names that were proposed as opponents. Josesito was the guy who stepped up on short notice. He was the guy who said ‘I’ll do it. I’ll rise to the challenge,’ and that is the kind of spirit and that is the kind of backbone that he has. He is not backing away from a challenge and this will be an exciting fight. I guarantee it.
“We also have Humberto Soto and Lucas Matthysse, two of the most underrated and underappreciated fighters in the sport, (both) knockout artists. Do not get a drink; do not go to the bathroom during that fight. It will be a thriller all the way through. For those of you who watch boxing, we had a great fight in March between Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez and it is a candidate for Fight of the Year. I actually think the Fight of the Year might be Matthysse vs. Soto. That's how interested I am in this fight.”
“Ortiz vs. Lopez,” a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship taking place Saturday, June 23, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif., 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. The co-feature will see former Three-Division World Champion Humberto “Zorrita” Soto battle Argentinean knockout artist Lucas Matthysse in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight title which is presented in association with Baja Boxing Promotions and Arano Box Promotions. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader begins live at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with preliminary fights airing on SHOWTIME EXTREME at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).