By Chris Robinson
It’s never an easy thing when a trainer has to watch his fighter lose in dramatic fashion and such was the case last night for Danny Garcia. Leading former welterweight champion Victor Ortiz into battle against Josesito Lopez inside of Staples Center in Los Angeles, Garcia would see his charge drawn into a wild firefight that he admits he never saw coming.
Ortiz and Lopez traded sharp blows throughout their fight but after nine rounds Victor had taken enough licks, refusing to come out for the tenth round as he cited a broken jaw for his key reason. And while Lopez basked in the greatest victory of his career, Ortiz sees a September 15th pay-per-view attraction with WBC junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez fall apart.
Speaking to me on Sunday evening, Garcia seemed to be taking everything in in stride.
“It was ended the right way,” said Garcia of Ortiz’s choice not to continue. “He got his jaw broken and there’s nothing we could do. We had to stop the fight and it was the right time to stop it. Maybe a little bit earlier, like one or two rounds earlier, it would be a little better, but we tried a little more. It got to the point where we had to stop it.”
Prior to the fight, Garcia seemed less than worried about Lopez being an obstacle, pointing to Ortiz’s advantages in size, strength, and technique. The fight ended up being a fierce battle that was often fought in closed quarters, a scenario that Garcia admits he never envisioned.
“No, I really thought we were going to beat him a little easier,” Garcia stated. “It got to the point where you never know how fighters are going to do. I think Josesito got ready and he’s tough; he gave a good fight.”
Ortiz is no stranger to shocking setbacks, however. In June of 2009 he engaged in one of the finer fights of the year, trading knockdowns with Argentinean brawler Marcos Maidana before opting not to continue in the sixth round and receiving his share of backlash.
Ortiz would rebuild his career following that loss but was again on the losing end of things when he faced off with Floyd Mayweather Jr. this past September. Ortiz flagrantly head-butted Mayweather in the fifth round and was docked a point before being halted in his tracks moments later after eating a left-right combination from Floyd that he never saw coming.
In the wake of the Lopez defeat, Garcia insists he isn’t worried about any impending criticism that will be heading in his team’s direction.
“We don’t care about that,” stated Garcia. “It doesn’t really matter. What matters is what happened to our fighter and if he gets well. We’ll do what we can and that’s about it.”