By Ryan Maquiñana
Trainer Henry Ramirez is on the cusp of a very busy June 23, as Riverside Lincoln Gym charges Josesito Lopez and Chris Arreola are close to appearing on a likely reconstructed card at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
After former welterweight champion Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) tested positive for a banned substance, his scheduled matchup with fellow former 147-pound titleholder Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) would be conceivably shelved for one between Ortiz and Lopez (29-4, 17 KOs). Arreola would appear on the undercard against an opponent to be determined. BoxingScene.com first reported on Sunday afternoon that Lopez was the likely replacement for Berto, with Arreola receiving an undercard nod.
Lopez, from Riverside, Calif., was originally slated to face Kendall Holt on the June 22 version of ESPN2 Friday Night Fights before Holt pulled out of the fight mainly due to his displeasure with the outdoor venue in San Jacinto, Calif.
“We’re just waiting on [Dan] Goossen to give us the yea or nay on Monday, but for all purposes, we’ve approved the fight with Ortiz,” Ramirez said. “It’s a great opportunity for Josesito, and he’d make way more money than he would fighting on ESPN, but he won’t be coming for a paycheck. Josesito brings great pressure, and against a style like Ortiz has, he’s coming to win.”
In his last outing, Lopez dropped a controversial split decision to Jessie Vargas last September on the Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz undercard that many in press row felt he won. The loss snapped a seven-bout winning streak that included a knockout of previously unbeaten Mike Dallas Jr. and a wide decision over Marvin Cordova Jr. However, Lopez has been campaigning for the most part at 140 pounds, and not at the welterweight limit of 147, which is where the Ortiz fight would take place.
“We definitely have some insight on Victor Ortiz, especially since Eduardo Garcia and his team have been here before,” Ramirez added. “As far as the weight, Josesito had been planning to move up to 147 for a while now. He’s strong at that weight and now he doesn’t have to lose as much to get to 147.”
Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and on the Ratings Advisory Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.