No one who knows him would ever call Josesito Lopez extravagant or a spendthrift. The welterweight contender, who will fight the biggest match of his life on Saturday when he meets Victor Ortiz at Staples Center in Los Angeles, has carefully planned for his future.
He's only 27, but he's scrimped and saved throughout the years, struggling to improve his lot in life and his stature as a boxer. He laughs off suggestions he'll cover himself in bling if he ever hits it big and vows his most important concerns are planning for his retirement and taking care of his family.
Lopez, who is 29-4 with 17 knockouts, declines to say how much he'll make on Saturday, though he concedes it will be the biggest purse of his life. It's still not what he feels he should be paid, but it's a step on the way to earning the big money available to a select few in boxing.
"You get to a certain level in boxing and people think you're making good money and you're so rich, but I can promise you, that's not true," Lopez said. "You have to pay your manager, the trainer, the assistants, the cutman, and just about everybody gets a share of [my purse]. And, of course, you have to pay taxes at the end of the year, too. The tax guy wants his, and you can't forget that.
"So, ultimately, at the end of the day when it's all said and done, not a lot of us make a ton of money from this. So many of us have to have second jobs to help pay the bills."
Lopez teaches boxing classes at a gym in his native Riverside, Calif., to help him earn extra money. It's not ideal, because it prevents him from devoting 100 percent of his time to his fight career, but it's a necessary evil.
He's had to go long periods without a car, he says, because he couldn't afford to pay for repairs, and he's had to make tough choices about what he eats while he's preparing for a fight.
"Getting the proper nutrition is very important and everyone knows you have to eat right," Lopez said. "But when you don't have the money, it's not so easy to do. A salad that costs $6 or $7 is better for me, but it's harder to buy when I know I can get two cheeseburgers for $2."
He'll be able to afford the salad after the Ortiz fight. And though he didn't need it, Golden Boy Promotions gave Lopez plenty of extra motivation when it announced that Ortiz would face Canelo Alvarez in the main event of a pay-per-view show on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas.
It was almost as if they were dismissive of his chances of winning.
"I found it very disrespectful, to be totally honest with you," Lopez said. "No matter how easy a fight you think it might be, you just don't do that. That's just not an appropriate decision. What was it, 10, 12 days? They couldn't wait to announce the Canelo fight after our fight was over? I have to call it what it is: It's arrogant and it's disrespectful, to me and the sport. I don't blame Victor for that; I blame the promotion.
"But it's good for me because it's given me plenty of extra motivation. I was already highly motivated to win this fight and they just threw a couple of logs onto the fire with that announcement."
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