it looks as though junior welterweight standout Josesito Lopez will replace Andre Berto against welterweight contender Victor Ortiz on June 23 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and heavyweight contender Chris Arreola will appear on the undercard, promoter Dan Goossen told RingTV.com on Monday.
Lopez (29-4, 17 knockouts) steps in in the wake of Berto’s positive drug test for traces of the banned substance norandrosterone, which forced him out of the rematch with Ortiz, who defeated Berto by unanimous decision in April of last year.
“It’s a good fight because the opportunity is there, and Josesito has the ability to go out there and compete on the top level,” said Goossen of Lopez, 27, who is coming off a disputed split-decision loss to Jessie Vargas last September.
“We felt that Josesito won his last fight against Jessie Vargas, and we all saw that he knocked out Mike Dallas, so he is ready for this type of a fight. We haven’t signed yet. We just got it arranged over the weekend, but we’ve come to an agreement.”
“Josesito Lopez is getting a great opportunity to come up to the ‘A’ league and to fight one of the top fighters in the 147-pound division. We expect him to be in the best shape of his life,” said Ortiz’s manager, Rolando Arellano.
“Lopez will be more motivated than ever before because this is an opportunity of a lifetime. He’s going to get the same treatment that Berto would have gotten if he were to step into the ring with Victor again.”
Arreola (35-2, 30 KOs) will pursue his eighth straight win and his sixth knockout during that run against an opponent to be determined, said Goossen.
“We’re working on it,” said Goossen. “We’re working feverishly toward that end.”
Photo / Chris Cozzone
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org