The headline fight of Showtime's Knockout Kings card on September 15 in Las Vegas sees Saul "Canelo" Alvarez look to defend his WBC title against Josesito Lopez. Canelo is one of the rising stars in the sport, while Lopez has asserted himself as one of boxing's upset specialists. Here are 3 quick thoughts on the Canelo vs. Lopez fight and what fans can expect to see.
Before stepping in to face Victor Ortiz this June as a replacement opponent, Lopez was campaigning as a junior welterweight, at 140 pounds. As recently as November 2007, he fought in the lightweight division. Meanwhile, Canelo is a thickly muscled junior middleweight, and his future is likely limited at 154 pounds, because the 22-year-old kid is still growing into his body.
Both fighters will make weight, but you can be certain that Canelo will be toting around at least an extra 10 pounds come fight night. This will make his punches harder, and Lopez's less so, and could lead to Lopez wearing down as the fight progresses.
Canelo finds himself potentially in the same trap position that so many other big name fighters have succumbed to in the past, including Ortiz just a few months ago. With a bright future and many lucrative fights around the corner, it's simply difficult to train with 100% intensity and complete dedication on the man you're facing right now.
However, as Lopez showed Ortiz, underestimating him is a huge mistake. He's tough, he's all heart, and he brings it -- you're going to have to fight for every inch against Josesito. Canelo better be in tip top condition and ready for a challenge, as his size won't see him through this one on its own if he's not physically prepared and mentally focused.
Lopez's Power and Canelo's Defense
Lopez isn't known as a particularly big puncher, with 18 knockouts amongst his 30 wins. However, he broke Ortiz's jaw in his last fight, and he stopped the previously undefeated prospect Mike Dallas Jr. in his last win prior to the Ortiz bout. If you hit a guy flush enough and often enough, you're going to do damage.
Meanwhile, Canelo's defense is far from spectacular, and he's also been rocked on a few occasions. Most people feel that Lopez's best hope is simply to outwork Canelo and survive. However, in the process of throwing all that leather, there's a chance that something more dramatic occurs along the way.
Canelo vs. Lopez Prediction
Canelo will be fit and focused, however, even with his inherent weight advantage it's likely that he hasn't fought an opponent in his prime as strong-willed or fierce as Lopez. Lopez will be the busier man, Canelo will land the harder shots. Alvarez survives to take home a Majority Decision victory and move onto bigger fights, while Lopez's stock only continues to rise even in defeat.
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com. You can find more of his writing, along with interviews, rankings and breaking news stories at the site, or you can follow ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter, @ProBoxingFans.
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