Already a star in the talent-packed California fight scene, Josesito Lopez continues to build his resume for another assault on the world rankings this year, with his eventual goal to cement a title as world champion and as one of boxing’s best, pound for pound.
A native of Riverside, California, where he still makes his home, Lopez is a naturally gifted athlete who started boxing when he was only eight years old. He added cross-country to his schedule when he was in high school and excelled there as well, eventually being offered a scholarship to the University of San Diego.
Lopez had his heart set on boxing though, and after graduating high school and completing his over 70-bout amateur career with titles in the Junior Olympics and Junior Golden Gloves, he turned pro at 18 on February 8, 2003 with an encounter against another highly-touted youngster, 1-0 Allen Litzau, the brother of current contender Jason Litzau. But Lopez was not to be denied, and at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Lopez announced his arrival emphatically with a 53-second stoppage of Litzau.
A four round win over Marco Contreras followed for Lopez, but in his third bout, on March 28, 2003, he was upset via four-round decision by Rodrigo Lopez.
Less than four months later, Lopez - who counts Felix Trinidad and Erik Morales as his fistic heroes - was back in the saddle with a fourth-round TKO of Jose Cabanillas. The win kicked off a 14-fight win streak for Josesito, who is currently pursuing a degree in Physical Science at Riverside Community College.
Included in this win streak was a ten-round win over Gilberto Leon which earned him the vacant WBC Intercontinental Mundo Hispano super featherweight title, a decision over Jose Luis Tula for the vacant WBC Youth super featherweight title, and a ten round unanimous-decision victory over Gerardo Zayas for the vacant WBC Continental Americas lightweight crown.
Four fights, three titles, and the entire boxing world was buzzing about Lopez. Unfortunately, a controversial splitdecision loss to Floyd Mayweather protégé Wes Ferguson on April 8, 2006 slowed Josesito’s progress.
Undeterred by the fight - which many believed he won - and a July no contest with Sammy Ventura, Lopez got back on track with a seventh-round stoppage of Anthony Martinez in August of 2006, and won three more bouts to improve his record to 20-2 with 12 KOs.
On May 24, 2007, Lopez scored a near-shutout, eight-round decision over Octavio Narvaez, and after winning the WBC Youth lightweight title three months later with a sixth-round KO of Luis Arceo and then decisioning veteran Tyrone Harris, Lopez moved up to the junior welterweight division to tackle fellow prospect Edgar Santana in a nationally televised bout on April 11, 2008. Lopez knocked Santana down twice in the fight, but when the judges’ scores were read, Santana was awarded a highly controversial ten-round majority decision.
In response to the defeat, Lopez has gone on a tear since then, winning seven in a row, three by knockout. On September 17, 2011, under the Mayweather-Ortiz card, Lopez faced Jesse Vargas in a war that went the 10-round distance but went to a controversial split decision for Vargas.
After Andre Berto was scratched from his scheduled June 23 rematch against Victor Ortiz at Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center, a deal was made for Lopez to step in to face Ortiz in the main event of the SHOWTIME telecast. And step in Lopez did, in a stunning major upset when he walked out of the ring at STAPLES Center as the WBC silver-welterweight champion after his ninth-round stoppage of Ortiz (29-4-2) in front of 7,865 fight fans in attendance.
The fight was stopped at the end of the round by referee Jack Reiss because it was suspected Ortiz had a broken jaw, which was later confirmed that Ortiz did indeed suffer a broken jaw in two places.
Just three weeks after the victory over Ortiz, Lopez is poised to challenge WBC light middleweight titlist Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs) for his belt in the September 15 main event of SHOWTIME Championship Boxing. Lopez will be stepping up in weight against Alvarez, along with stepping in for Ortiz, the man many thought had a great chance at beating Alvarez.
30-6-0, 18 KOs