“Josesito” Lopez Overcoming 1 Challenge at a Time...GONZALEZ
|Written by Ralph Gonzalez|
|Friday, 02 September 2011 19:58|
Every other day, N.A.B.F. 140 pound champion Jose “Josesito” Lopez, receives a very important phone call. It’s not from his promoter or manager.
Instead, Lopez (29-3, 17 KO’s) hears from the father he hasn’t seen as a free man for seven years. Lopez Sr. finds himself incarcerated for reasons his son would rather not discuss. “My dad’s incarceration at the start of my career was very difficult,” said Lopez. “I had to step up and be the head of the household. Having to go through tough times without him at my side was hard but I’m a stronger man because of it.”
Unfortunately Lopez Sr. won’t be at his son’s most important fight on September 17th as part of the Mayweather vs. Ortiz card. “My dad is my biggest supporter and he’ll be there in spirit,” he said. “I’ve learned to persevere through difficult situations and it’s actually helped me become a better fighter.”
The Riverside, California native will be opening the televised segment of the Golden Boy Promotions pay per view event against the highly touted prospect Jesse Vargas (16-0, 9 KO's).
Lopez, 27, is part of the talent laden 140 pound division where the likes of Amir Khan, Tim Bradley and Marcos Maidana dwell. It’s arguably the most competitive weight class in boxing. “I believe I’m right up there with any of those guys. I’m at the top of my game and getting better,” Lopez assured. “Even though I’m young, I consider myself a veteran. I fought high caliber fighters from the start. I’ve never been babied. I definitely came up the hard way."
It took all of 53 seconds for Lopez to make his pro debut with a first round stoppage.
Since then, he's been building his reputation as an all-action fighter, one war at a time.
Just to get a sense of the quality of opposition, it should be noted that the combined record of the above named fighters is eighty wins and twelve losses. Far different than most of today's young prospects who are treated with kid gloves and spoon fed an assortment of no-hopers.
When Ramirez got the call for Lopez to fight on what he says is arguably the biggest pay per view of the year, he jumped at it. “No risk, no reward,” Ramirez answered when asked about taking the bout against such a dangerous opponent like Vargas. “These are the fights Jose has to take to get to the next level. The exposure he’ll be getting will be huge.” Ramirez also manages the career of heavyweight contender Cris “The Nightmare” Arreola.
As the date nears for his fight against Vargas, Lopez can't help but think about the man who helped him get his start in the sport. "My dad is my biggest fan and inspiration. When I'm in training, he's in training," he said. "We make the best of the situation. We're very close. As far as communication, we talk every other day. It's been so long. I can't wait for that moment until he's with us again. To me he's been a better father than other fathers who aren't incarcerated. This fight, like every fight, is for him."
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