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“Josesito” Lopez Overcoming 1 Challenge at a Time…GONZALEZ



Every other day, N.A.B.F. 140 pound champion Jose “Josesito” Lopez, receives a very important phone call. It’s not from his promoter or manager.

Instead, Lopez (29-3, 17 KO’s) hears from the father he hasn’t seen as a free man for seven years. Lopez Sr. finds himself incarcerated for reasons his son would rather not discuss. “My dad’s incarceration at the start of my career was very difficult,” said Lopez. “I had to step up and be the head of the household. Having to go through tough times without him at my side was hard but I’m a stronger man because of it.”

Unfortunately Lopez Sr. won’t be at his son’s most important fight on September 17th as part of the Mayweather vs. Ortiz card. “My dad is my biggest supporter and he’ll be there in spirit,” he said. “I’ve learned to persevere through difficult situations and it’s actually helped me become a better fighter.”

The Riverside, California native will be opening the televised segment of the Golden Boy Promotions pay per view event against the highly touted prospect Jesse Vargas (16-0, 9 KO’s).

Lopez, 27, is part of the talent laden 140 pound division where the likes of Amir Khan, Tim Bradley and Marcos Maidana dwell. It’s arguably the most competitive weight class in boxing. “I believe I’m right up there with any of those guys. I’m at the top of my game and getting better,” Lopez assured. “Even though I’m young, I consider myself a veteran. I fought high caliber fighters from the start. I’ve never been babied. I definitely came up the hard way.”

It was soon after graduating high school that his boxing career came calling. “My former trainer, Andy Suarez, (R.I.P.) got a call a week and a half before a fight in Las Vegas,” he recalled. “They needed an opponent for Allen Litzau.”

It took all of 53 seconds for Lopez to make his pro debut with a first round stoppage.

Since then, he’s been building his reputation as an all-action fighter, one war at a time.

Fighting under the Thompson Boxing and Goossen-Tutor Promotions banner, his record is littered with wins over very respectable opponents. Luis Arceo, Patrick Lopez, Marvin Cordova and Sergio Rivera are some of the fighters he’s faced so far.

Just to get a sense of the quality of opposition, it should be noted that the combined record of the above named fighters is eighty wins and twelve losses. Far different than most of today’s young prospects who are treated with kid gloves and spoon fed an assortment of no-hopers.

His biggest win came at the expense of heavily hyped and undefeated prospect Mike Dallas Jr. “It was a fight where one of us got to go forward and one of us would take a step back,” remembered Lopez. “I’ve been there before. I lost to Edgar Santana in a close fight that I took on five days notice. Having your career stalled by a loss is never easy and I don’t plan to be in that position again.”

Lopez took on boxing the old fashioned way. “No money, facing tough fighters one after the other in real wars,” he said. “Having to work, you name it, I’ve been through a lot and in order for me to get to the next level I have to go through Jesse Vargas.”

Although fighting Vargas seems to be a high risk, low reward situation, Lopez is more focused on the potential exposure that being on a huge pay per view event will bring. “This will get me recognition on an international level,” he said. “I’m fighting a very good undefeated prospect and hopefully I’ll impress enough to get me where I want to be.”

Where he wants to be is fighting the likes of world champion Amir Khan. “I think it would be a great fight between us. I’ve been watching him and he has his weaknesses,” Lopez stated. “He’s never faced a fighter like me. I’m tough, fast and I’m at my peak. It’s a great match up.”

Anyone who’s watched Lopez in the ring will attest that he’s a difficult match for any of the top five 140 pounders. But when will he get his chance? Manager Henry Ramirez, who’s been involved in Lopez’s career since he was sixteen, says there’s no way he’s looking past Vargas. “I’ve heard a lot of reports about wanting to fight Bradley and Amir Khan but right now were focused on Vargas,” Ramirez said. “That’s the fight that really matters. He’s ready. He’s done all the work and he’s more dedicated to the sport than he’s ever been. He’s ready to fight tomorrow. It’s his time.”

When Ramirez got the call for Lopez to fight on what he says is arguably the biggest pay per view of the year, he jumped at it. “No risk, no reward,” Ramirez answered when asked about taking the bout against such a dangerous opponent like Vargas. “These are the fights Jose has to take to get to the next level. The exposure he’ll be getting will be huge.” Ramirez also manages the career of heavyweight contender Cris “The Nightmare” Arreola.

As the date nears for his fight against Vargas, Lopez can’t help but think about the man who helped him get his start in the sport. “My dad is my biggest fan and inspiration. When I’m in training, he’s in training,” he said. “We make the best of the situation. We’re very close. As far as communication, we talk every other day. It’s been so long. I can’t wait for that moment until he’s with us again. To me he’s been a better father than other fathers who aren’t incarcerated. This fight, like every fight, is for him.”

On the web:
Josesito Lopez fight clips and interview after defeating Mike Dallas Jr.


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Michael Dutchover Remains Undefeated in Ontario, Calif.

Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.



Michael Dutchover

ONTARIO-Calif.-Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

Lightweight prospect Dutchover (11-0, 8 KOs) knocked out southpaw Aguilera (14-4-1, 4 KOs) in the fifth round with a barrage of body blows that left the Costa Rican limp at the Doubletree Hotel.

For two rounds Aguilar used an awkward counter-punching style that had Dutchover a little tentative. But once he figured out that combination punching was the key, he opened up with barrages and floored Aguilar with body shots at the end of round four.

That signaled doom for Aguilar.

The fifth round saw Dutchover target the body with impunity as Aguilar tried holding, running and covering up with no success. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth signaled the fight over at 2:31 of the fifth round giving Dutchover the win by knockout.

In a bantamweight clash Santa Ana’s Mario Hernandez (7-0-1, 3 KOs) and Mexico City’s Ivan Gonzalez (4-1-2, 1 KO) fought to a majority draw after six back and forth rounds.

Hernandez targeted the body against the taller Gonzalez who relied on long range counters. Both found success but neither could prove superiority after six turbulent rounds.

After six rounds one judge saw it 58-56 for Gonzalez but the two other judges saw it 57-57 for a majority draw.

Other bouts

South Central L.A.’s Ruben Torres (7-0, 6 KOs) extended his undefeated streak with a knockout over Mexico’s Eder “El Koreano” Amaro (6-6, 2 KOs) in a lightweight fight. But it wasn’t easy.

Amaro switched from southpaw to orthodox and was matching Torres for two rounds until the taller local fighter began blasting away to the body and head with precision. Many in the crowd cheered “Koreano” in unison but it couldn’t help once Torres zeroed in.

At the end of the fourth round Amaro could not continue and the fight was stopped giving a knockout for Torres.

Richard Brewart Jr. (2-0) mowed through Edward Aceves (0-5) flooring him with body shots in the first round then overwhelming him in the second. After seven unanswered blows referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the fight at 1:32 of round two giving Rancho Cucamonga’s Brewart the win by knockout in the super welterweight bout.

Southpaw David Ortiz (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision after four rounds in a welterweight match against San Diego’s Mario Angeles (2-11-2). Ortiz lives in Bloomington, Calif. and is trained by Henry Ramirez. No knockdowns were scored.

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Charr-Oquendo Scuttled When Charr Tests Positive; the Odious WBA Saves Face



Manuel Charr

Manuel Charr and Fres Oquendo were scheduled to fight in Cologne, Germany, later this month (Sept. 29). Charr would be defending his WBA world heavyweight title, the “regular” version of it, not the “super” version which rests in the hands of Anthony Joshua.

The bout was quickly cancelled when it was revealed that Charr had tested positive for two banned anabolic steroids. The test was performed by VADA, the anti-doping agency identified with Las Vegas neurologist Dr. Margaret Goodman.

The 33-year-old Charr, born in Lebanon but a resident of Germany since the age of three, won the belt in his last start with a unanimous decision over 281-pound Russian behemoth Alexander Ustinov in Oberhausen, Germany. The title was vacant. Charr won the right to fight for it with a 10-round decision over Albanian slug Sefer Seferi. The victory over Ustinov elevated his record to 31-4. He has been stopped three times, by Vitali Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, and Mairis Briedis.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, as the old saying goes, Fres Oquendo wouldn’t have any luck at all. For various reasons, his fights keep falling out. Before long he’ll be drawing social security. Well, not exactly, but he turned 45 in April and hasn’t fought in more than four years.

Oquendo has competed for this belt before. In his last ring appearance in July of 2014, he lost a majority decision to Russia’s Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Russia. As a concession for taking the fight on short notice, Team Oquendo negotiated a rematch clause in the contract, but a shoulder injury prevented Fres from activating it. When the injury healed, he had to go to court to compel Chagaev to fulfill his obligation. But then the Russian retired, muddling the water.

The WBA was legally bound to find Oquendo a title fight and in desperation turned to ancient Shannon Briggs. But the Oquendo-Briggs fight, scheduled for June 3 of last year in Hollywood, Florida, fell out when Briggs’ urine specimen showed an abnormally high level of testosterone.

Fres Oquendo was dogged by bad luck even before these recent developments. His professional record, 37-8, is somewhat misleading as six of his eight defeats were razor-thin including his 2003 setback to Chris Byrd and his 2006 setback to Evander Holyfield. However, Oquendo, something of a cutie, was never a crowd-pleaser and in none of his narrow defeats was there a public clamor for a rematch.

The cancellation of Charr-Oquendo cuts the World Boxing Association out of a sanctioning fee, but one would think that the WBA honchos are actually rather pleased by this turn of events. The fight, more precisely the WBA’s world title imprimatur, would have brought more unwanted publicity to the Panama-based organization.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael, who has the largest platform of any boxing writer, has been a persistent critic of the organization which once recognized 41 “champions” in 17 weight classes. In 2009, Rafael wrote, “(The WBA) has become such an absolute farce that even somebody like me, who follows boxing closely, sometimes has a hard time keeping track of all the nonsensical so-called world title belts the WBA has been doling out at an alarming rate. It almost reminds me of the ladies at Costco who hand out various samples on a busy Saturday afternoon.”

Rafael took note when WBA president Gilberto Mendoza promised to cull the herd by eliminating “regular” titles, and then became more caustic when Mendoza didn’t follow through. Recently, in one short, punchy diatribe, Rafael blistered the WBA as wretched, vile, and rancid.

Regardless of your opinion, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Fres Oquendo who keeps getting stranded at the altar. No, he’s not fun to watch and a man of his age shouldn’t be taking any more punches, but he has always been an honest workman and by all accounts he’s a very decent man. Born in Puerto Rico but raised in Chicago, Oquendo pitched right in when the island nation of his birth was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. He was personally responsible for relocating Puerto Rican boxing legend Wilfred Benitez and Benitez’s sister, his caregiver, to Chicago where their lives wouldn’t be as hard.

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Bob Arum Hails Terence Crawford (not Lomachenko) as Boxing’s Next Superstar



Arum says Terence

Top Rank’s Bob Arum says Terence Crawford will become this generation’s Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao–elite boxers who became worldwide celebrity sensations. Arum, who promoted both Mayweather and Pacquiao on the way to their historic crossover statuses expects big things from the undefeated Crawford over the next few years.

“He’s the best fighter in the United States, and he’s so charismatic,” said Arum. “He comes from middle America, and In the next year or so, he will be huge.”

Arum’s assertion is noteworthy for two reasons. First, Arum is also the promoter for Vasyl Lomachenko. Lomachenko is ranked No. 1 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. More importantly, Lomachenko seems to have a groundswell of support behind him both in the media and among fight fans.

Lomachenko has also been heavily featured through Top Rank’s television partnership with ESPN. While Crawford has achieved more in his career than Lomachenko (at least in my eyes) and, as noted by Arum, is a homegrown American talent, Lomachenko seems to be considered the more marketable commodity to that network judging by the amount of promotional materials ESPN has pumped out about the fighter over the last year.

The other reason Arum’s claim about Crawford is interesting is the performance of Canelo Alvarez over the weekend in his majority decision rematch win over Gennady Golovkin. Besides Mayweather and Pacquiao, Alvarez is the clear PPV leader among all of boxing’s current commodities, and his status as boxing’s new money fighter should only grow stronger after the best win of his career.

Still, Crawford is one of the few very elite fighters in all of boxing. He’s ranked No. 2 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.

While Lomachenko and Alvarez are also candidates to become boxing’s next big thing, there’s no doubt Crawford is also one of the few boxers in the sport right now with the right things in place to become the next Mayweather or Pacquiao.

Omaha’s Crawford is in the midst of an historic run. When he stopped Jeff Horn in round 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in June, Crawford captured a world title in his third different weight class, welterweight. This after Crawford had already captured two lineal boxing championships, as well as multiple alphabet titles, in both the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.

By any measure, Crawford is truly one of the best boxers in the sport. Not only does he look the part in the ring on fight night (something more and more writers seem to value most when voting for pound-for-pound lists), but the fighter has already accomplished so much in his career that it seems Arum is doing more than the fiduciary duty of promoting his fighter when he ascribes to Crawford such lofty praise.

Crawford, still just 30 years old, is already halfway to matching Mayweather and Pacquiao’s shared record of most lineal championships. Over the course of his career, Mayweather captured lineal championships at junior lightweight, lightweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight. Pacquiao won his as a flyweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, and junior welterweight.

In order for Crawford to grab lineal championship No. 3, most believe he’ll have to go through welterweight phenom Errol Spence. While promotional entanglements might keep this superfight on the shelf for a while, Arum said he had no problem pitting Crawford against Spence in what would be one of the best matchups in recent memory.

“Absolutely,” said Arum when asked about working with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, who represents Spence, to make the fight. Could any response from him be more exciting? Crawford vs. Spence might be the next superfight in boxing. Both fighters are among the very elite, and unlike what ultimately happened with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, who fought each other well past their peak years, both would be in the prime of their careers.

Winning that fight would certainly go a long way to making Arum’s vision of Crawford’s future come true. And who knows? Maybe Crawford really is the next Mayweather or Pacquiao. Heck, for all we know, he could even be on his way to doing something more.

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