By Dan Ambrose:According to Dan Rafael, Joe Cortez will be the referee for Showtime’s upcoming September 15th fight between WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KO’s) and his welterweight challenger Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18 KO’s).
This likely won’t mean a whole lot having Cortez as the referee because the fight likely won’t be fought on the inside, although Alvarez is a very good inside fighter. Some boxing fans are under the belief that Cortez likes to break up the action for inside fighters by stepping in too soon to separate them when they’re trying to work. Cortez was the referee for the Ricky Hatton vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Amir Khan vs. Marcos Maidana fights, which is probably where boxing fans formed the opinion about Cortez keeping inside action from taking place. Hatton did have some problems working in close against Mayweather due to Cortez stepping in to separate him from Mayweather.
However, there was a lot of times where Hatton was wrestling around rather than actually working, and you can understand why Cortez would break up the action in that case. In the Khan-Maidana fight, it was a slightly different story. Cortez broke up a lot of the action in the 10th when Khan was badly hurt taking shots. Some of it looked justified because the two fighters were getting tangled up with one another, but on a few occasions it looked like Cortez stepped in way too soon while Maidana was landing well against a badly hurt Khan.
Cortez likely won’t have much affect on the outcome of the Alvarez-Lopez fight because both fighters will likely keep the action at medium distance without working in close too often.