A couple of weeks ago everyone and their grandmother were shouting that boxing is dead. After the pathetic decision in the Pacquiao/Bradley fight, we as fans were reminded just how corrupt and unpredictable this sport can be. However this weekend we were reminded of what makes boxing special.
Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22KOs) came into Saturday night's fight against Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18KOs) as a huge favorite. Lopez assumed the role as the ultimate underdog and no one gave him much of a chance to win this fight. He reminded us just how wonderful boxing can be.
During the first round, Ortiz stalked his much smaller and softer looking opponent until he looked surprised when Lopez fired off a left hook that pushed the favorite back. At that moment I realized that we were about to see two men engaged in a war.
In the second, both men viciously traded with everything they had. Ortiz was landing the harder shots but it seemed that Lopez was landing cleaner, more effective shots as he stunned Ortiz with a beautiful right hand to close out the round.
In the third round, Lopez was getting the better of the exchanges but Ortiz wouldn't back down as he worked behind a sharp jab that was followed by a straight left. Lopez was starting to look beat up but the smaller man kept coming.
In the fifth, Ortiz (who is famously known for his head-butt on Floyd Mayweather Jr) committed an ugly foul when he pushed Lopez down towards the canvas and proceeded to foul his adversary with a shot to the back of the neck. Bizarrely, the ref only warned Ortiz and never took a point off — as he should have. Instant karma was on it's way back to Victor Ortiz's doorstep however. Lopez rose to his feet and started to assault Ortiz with perfectly placed right hands and left hooks.
The seventh round saw Lopez landing hard shots and beautiful combinations as Ortiz seemed to be satisfied with taking this round off. Lopez wouldn't let Ortiz off the hook. Ortiz came back strong in round eight but he started looking worn down as Lopez kept coming.
In the ninth, Ortiz came on very strong as both men furiously traded. Eventually Lopez landed a thudding left hook that ended the fight but not in the way you'd think. Ortiz's jaw was broken, and after the ninth round, while he was sitting in his corner, Ortiz informed the official that his jaw was broken and he could no longer continue.
Ortiz was up on all three score cards but it was Lopez who walked away with the taste of victory in this possible 'Upset of the Year'.
"I didn't know I broke his jaw, but I knew the longer the fight lasted that I had him." Lopez stated during his post fight interview. Moments later the broken-jawed Ortiz said "I broke my jaw. I wanted to keep going but I got cut inside my mouth. I broke it in the beginning of the ninth round."
With this win, Lopez was awarded with the vacant WBC silver welterweight championship. He also wrecked the plans of Ortiz as he just agreed to move up in weight to face the hard hitting Mexican, Canelo Alvarez.
The fight is no longer guaranteed since Ortiz lost on Saturday night, but Josesito Lopez thinks other plans will be made. "They got a rematch clause, let's do it."
Yes, let's do it. Again.
Photo Credit: AP