By Rick Reeno
WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley is giving his former Thompson Boxing stablemate, Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18KOs), a very good shot to upset WBC 154-pound champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (40-0-1, 29KOs). Lopez challenges Canelo on September 15th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
On June 23rd at Staples Center - Lopez, a junior welterweight, moved up a division to challenge Victor Ortiz for the WBC's silver title at 147-pounds. A significant underdog, Lopez fought his way to a ninth round stoppage after breaking the jaw of Ortiz.
"It's a tough fight for him, but the thing that sets Josesito apart from just being another opponent for Alvarez, is that Josesito don't back down. This kid is a warrior. We grew up together. We were stablemates. We traveled together. This kid is very determined. When he's hungry, it's very hard to stop this kid," Bradley told BoxingScene.com.
Bradley has not been impressed with Canelo's level of opposition as of late. He expects Lopez to take the fight to Canelo, and make the 22-year-old champion work very hard in every round.
"I think he has a really good chance against Canelo. Honestly, I don't think Canelo has really been tested. He hasn't been tested with some real fighters. He's going to have his hands full with Josesito, because Josesito can box and he can brawl. He goes to the body well, he breaks guys down and I definitely think he's going to test Canelo - especially when Canelo is fighting only a minute of every round. I think Jose is definitely going to be on top of him and apply smart pressure and definitely make a fight out of it and probably pull off an upset," Bradley said.
Like many in the boxing game, Bradley doesn't deny the obvious weight difference as playing a potential role in the fight.
"The only thing that bothers me is the weight difference. Canelo is a big, big kid. I've seen him in person. He has tree trunks for legs...his thighs are huge. he can punch. He has a lot of leverage on his shots. He turns into every punch that he throws. I think the weight difference will probably be the factor in this fight. Canelo has really good skills, but like I said - Josesito is very tough, and resilient, he's going to bring it and do his very best," Bradley said.
However, Bradley would later state that a fighter with "skill" can overcome a weight and/or size disadvantage.
"Weight is not an issue if you know how to fight. What it boils down to is skill....skill and will."