By Ryan Burton
Welterweight contender Josesito Lopez (34-7) returned to the win column on December 10th when he won an unanimous decision over Todd Manuel in Los Angeles. The fight was Lopez's first since his stoppage loss to Andre Berto in March, 2015.
Lopez hopes to return to the ring in another tune up bout early in 2017 and is also looking forward to another potential welterweight fight that is likely to take place in the first quarter of 2017.
Victor Ortiz (31-6-2) and Brandon Rios (33-3-1), both of Garden City Kansas, who now reside in Southern California, are supposed to face each other in a grudge match that is years in the making. A venue in the Los Angeles area and an official announcement haven't been nailed down yet but they are expected to square off in February or March.
The 32-year-old Lopez who is also from Southern California, stopped Ortiz in 2012 to earn a fight against Canelo Alvarez. He cannot wait to see the match up.
"That is an exciting fight man. I am excited for that one. It is a great fight. Victor Ortiz is a good fighter. He is a tough fighter and Brandon Rios is a bad ass. He is Bam Bam. I am excited for that one and I think Brandon Rios - a lot of people might count him out and might count Victor out too - but I favor Brandon Rios there," Lopez told BoxingScene.com.
Ortiz has been labeled as a quitter by some fans after stoppage losses to Marcos Maidana and to Lopez (to be fair his jaw was broken by Josesito Lopez in their fight) but Lopez feels that there is too much at stake for either fighter to give anything less than 100% in the fight.
"There is a lot of pride on the line and I can't see anybody take a step back. I have seen Brandon Rios train and he is a very tough fighter. I can't wait to see that fight," said Lopez.
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