It was a thrilling fight and an exciting upset for underdog Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs) on Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. However, for Golden Boy Promotions, it was a nightmare night as they saw one half of their September 15th pay-per-view showcase quit on his stool, claiming a broken jaw.
At the same time Lopez was celebrating his victory and reminding the world that he told them an upset over Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) was in the air, Golden Boy executives had to be internally running through the remaining options for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's scheduled bout on Mexican Independence Day. Even Alvarez, himself, who was seated at ringside, could only shake his head in disbelief and muster a forced smile as the end of the contest was made official.
Ortiz is now the third straight fighter to find himself removed from Alvarez's path.
Originally slated to face the 21-year-old WBC junior middleweight champ was Paul Williams, but Williams suffered a career-ending motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Next, James Kirkland was pegged for the spot opposite Canelo, only to bow out over a money disagreement. Now, Victor Ortiz has been removed from the picture and the search must begin anew.
At this point, the lead candidate has to be IBF junior middleweight champ, Cornelius "K9" Bundrage, who is likely to defeat Cory Spinks next Saturday in a mandatory defense of his belt.
Bundrage, a new signee to Golden Boy, brings a unification angle to a bout with Alvarez, but not much in terms of drawing power.
Other candidates, such as Austin Trout and Gabriel Rosado, would also make for a decent challenge, but definitely come up short in their ability to generate PPV buys.
Another option is the Cuban standout, Erislandy Lara, who is fighting on the Bundrage-Spinks undercard next Satrurday. The well-skilled southpaw would be a tremendous challenge for Alvarez at this stage of his career and might bring to the table too much risk for too little reward.
Others have mentioned the possibility of Andre Berto, who was eliminated from his own bout with Ortiz after testing positive for a banned substance, moving up in weight for the bout and even Josesito Lopez, despite being a natural junior welterweight, might be in consideration.
Whatever the case, Golden Boy finds themselves in a tough spot and must scramble to find a suitable opponent as soon as humanly possible, especially with Top Rank's Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez pay-per-view scheduled for the same date.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Michael Rosenthal, Lopez wins stunner when Ortiz quits with broken jaw, RingTV
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