Ortiz quits again, Lopez wins: The replacement jinx?
By Ben Hoskin: Unheralded late replacement Josesito Lopez caused a major upset with Victor Ortiz failing to come out for the start of the tenth round. Ortiz told the referee his jaw was broken at which point the referee waved it off, leaving the scheduled match-up between Ortiz and Alvarez in serious doubt.
Its always difficult to take a tune-up when you already have a high profile fight penciled in and this tune-up has cost Ortiz both a huge purse and possibly tarnished his standing as an A class fighter. Itís possible he underestimated Lopez though to be fair it was a very good bout with some great exchanges and I actually had Ortiz one round up though there were at least four rounds that could have been scored for either fighter. Ortiz looked to be much the bigger man and its reasonable to believe he thought he would simply overpower his opponent who was coming up from the weight class below. One look at Lopezí record however shows he is obviously very obdurate as heís never been stopped in thirty five contests. Both fighters took heavy shots with each having to hold on after being buzzed on several occasions. What alarmed me from Ortizí standpoint was his continual punching the back of the head of his opponent. In the fifth stanza he actually put Lopez on the canvas after an illegal blow and amazingly the referee didnít take a point away.. He repeated this illegal blow at least twice more, which suggests his discipline is suspect or of more concern his penchant for fouling when proceedings arenít in his favour and he doesnít want to be there! I genuinely like his style of fighting, he gets in the trenches and loves to exchange in all out wars but I have suspicions now he only likes to partake if he thinks he can win.
We saw in the Mayweather fight where his inexplicable headbutt brought about his undoing. I had the impression he knew he couldnít win and it was better to be disqualified rather than schooled for several more rounds then knocked out. The Berto fight also saw Ortiz deducted a point for hitting behind the head. There has been enough written about the Maidana fight so I wonít go over old ground again there. His first loss as a professional came about through a disqualification after an illegal punch after a break. It also appeared in his loss tonight he was looking for the corner or referee to stop the contest by informing them his jaw was broken. I know itís a serious injury but many fighters previously have fought on through the pain barrier especially if there was a pot of gold on the horizon with the impending Alvarez fight. As the judges scores at the time of stoppage were apparently well in his favour, it would have been prudent for Victor to box and move for the final rounds and claim his points win.
Where to now for the combatants? Lopez has seen his stock rise with this very spirited performance and though he may not be a top-echelon player he deserves a shot at one of the belts in his natural weight class. As for Victor, his rise from abject poverty to champion of the world has inspired. His business interests away from the ring could be good reason to consider retirement as future money-spinning bouts may well be hard to come by now. His style of exchanging and taking big shots is a sure-fire way to bring on boxing-related ailments so now is as good a time as any to hang the gloves up. As for Alvarez, lets hope the replacement curse doesnít befall him as all of Mexico and Golden Boy have high hopes for the youngster!