By Dan Ambrose:While a lot of boxing fans are turned off by the idea of Golden Boy Promotions deciding to match light welterweight Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18 KO’s) up against WBC junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KO’s) on September 15th, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer is perfectly fine with the fight, and he feels Lopez deserves to be in with Alvarez despite the fact that Lopez is basically just a 140 pound fighter being asked to move up two entire divisions to make fight happen.
Schaefer told sportsillustrated.cnn.com “Josesito has earned the right to fight Canelo, and he earned it the hard way – with his fists.”
What Schaefer is referring to in saying that Lopez has earned the shot against Alvarez is Lopez’s recent 9th round stoppage win over Golden Boy fighter former WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz last month. It wasn’t much of a win, however, but rather a win that came after Ortiz suffered a broken jaw and couldn’t continue fighting. Ortiz was well ahead at the time of the stoppage and would have probably won the fight no problem had he toughed it out and not quit. To be sure, Lopez technically got the win but it was one of those ugly type of wins where you’re given the victory but you really didn’t do anything to deserve it other than not quitting. Like I said, Ortiz was well ahead in the fight and all he had to do was stay on his feet for the next three rounds and he won. Unfortunately, he quit.
But what is so troubling about the Lopez-Alvarez fight is that Golden Boy has decided to match another smaller fighter against Alvarez instead of finding someone from the same division as Alvarez for him to fight. It’s not as if this is the first time Golden Boy has done this.
In the past year, they’ve matched Alvarez up twice with welterweights in Alfonso Gomez and Matthew Hatton. Now they’re going one step further by matching Alvarez against a light welterweight, which is two divisions below him. That’s kind of off putting because it gives the impression to some boxing fans that Alvarez is being protected by matching him against smaller guys half the time. If Alvarez doesn’t have what it takes to fight guys from his own division then he needs to vacate the belt and let another fighter take over. Alvarez can then fight 140 pounders and 147 pounders as often as he likes without anyone making a big deal out of it.