Code Red: Canelo vs. Josesito

By Robert Ecksel on July 11, 2012
Code Red: Canelo vs. Josesito
Golden Boy promised to be different. Golden Boy was going to rewrite the rules. (HBO)

Although the contracts are not yet signed, the scramble to find an opponent for Canelo Alvarez’s Sept. 15 date at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is over.

The list of potential foes ran the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous and included Paul Williams, James Kirkland, Victor Ortiz, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, Cornelius Bundrage and Ricardo Mayorga.

But Golden Boy Promotions, Canelo’s promoter, has again chosen the path of least resistance and opted to play it safe by pitting their undefeated young gun against the newest star on the boxing horizon, Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs).

In a way fighting Josesito makes sense. Do the math. Lopez defeated Victor Ortiz, who was supposed to fight Canelo. So who better to fight Canelo than Lopez? That’s logical in a sense, but will it prove logical in a boxing ring?

Lopez is a good kid and good fighter and he deserves a nice payday. What he doesn’t deserve is a terrible beating. He moved up from junior welterweight to compete with the bigger Ortiz at 144 lbs. And now Josesito has to move up in weight again, 10 lbs. this time to fight Canelo at 154, who will likely be above 160 when the opening bell sounds.

Boxing is unpredictable and anything can happen—Josesito’s ninth round stoppage of Ortiz is proof of that—but the likelihood of lightning striking twice is remote, if not slim to none.

Since the 21-year-old, 40-0-1 Canelo won the vacant WBC junior middleweight by unanimous decision in March 2011 he has overwhelmed everyone he has faced. The men he defeated, whatever their virtues, were either not in his league or so past their prime as to be little more than cannon fodder.

And so it continues.

Calls for Canelo to step it up have fallen on deaf ears. He’s no longer a prospect. He’s a champion and needs to behave like a champion and fight other champions. That he has not isn’t his fault or his doing. Canelo will fight whoever is placed in front of him. But Golden Boy continues to protect their fighter. They won’t risk jeopardizing his unbeaten record, and in turn his marketability. They won’t let him face the sort of competition that will help him grow as a fighter. They won’t, under any circumstances, kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

Golden Boy isn’t immune to criticism. In fact they bristle at criticism and penalize their critics. At its inception, Golden Boy promised to be different. Golden Boy was going to rewrite the rules. That its founder came from the ring, rather than Harvard or prison, was supposed to make all the difference in the world. It has not and boxing has suffered as a result. But also, in this instance, has Canelo, who is being denied an opportunity to achieve true greatness.

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  1. Pete The Sneak 06:46am, 07/13/2012

    Heck, I would have loved to see Alvarez fight El Perro Angulo in an all Mexican affair. Yeah, Yeah, I know Angulo was knocked into oblivion by James Kirkland, but he’s a pretty big guy and let’s face it, he would have brung it to Canelo and it would have been a pretty good brawl and test for the young stud. I’m happy for Josesito getting the big payday, but at what cost? Peace.

  2. MIKE SCHMMIDT 06:23am, 07/13/2012

    Trout, Molina, Lara, hell even a guy like Adam Trupish, BIG Jr Middle who just knocked Cunningham flat and rated high by WBA—there is no shortage of viable guys here—no shortage at all.

  3. Juicy Peach 06:20am, 07/13/2012

    bk don at least these guys are in his weight class.  I would rather see these guys get beat up than Lopez.  Lopez is too small and his punches will not slow Alvarez down.  Alaveraz is naturally big but Lopez isn’t.  Like I said this would not be a fair fight.  What about Erislandy Lara?  That would be a good fight!  They are not going to pit Canelo with someone that can possibly beat him (Golden Boy Productions).  Wouldn’t you like to see him fight someone his size and strength, rather than getting someone he can pummel all night?

  4. bk don 06:05am, 07/13/2012

    Juicy Peach—please don’t tell me you’re serious. Clottey? Really? he’s done nothing since that horrific effort he turned in against Pacman a couple of years ago to deserve this payday. Don’t even get me started w/Margarito who had become a full-time punching bag. he’s retired now and no one in the sport will miss him. Cotto would’ve been an interesting fight but he wasn’t interested in returning in Sept. he deserves the right to relax following his spirited showing against Money in May.

  5. Juicy Peach 05:50am, 07/13/2012

    Of course Golden Boy Productions will get someone they think Canelo can beat.  If he had someone as thick as he and in his own weight class that would be a REALLY good fight.  It’s no fun watching a fight when one person got the advantage over the other person.  That is a disaster that’s waiting to happen.  Why not let him fight someone like Cotto, Clottey, even Margarito.  Margarito would push Canelo to the limit because he doesn’t know how to quit.  You have to beat Margarito down for him to stop.  I would really like to see Canelo pushed and see what he is made of.  I think Oscar is being a coward for his man in choosing Lopez for a fight that he is too small for.

  6. kelso 11:08pm, 07/12/2012

    the hype on canelo continues, orchestrated by golden gay promotions, and suported by most boxing scribes which fools most boxing fans into thinking that canelo is for real. not even watching this hype job by golden gay promotions.

  7. Don from Prov 07:56pm, 07/12/2012

    It seemed that a few months ago Canelo had a pretty good plan for three fights, each a step up of one kind or another, but shit happened.  Still, the choice of a Jr. Welterweight is just pitiful.  I remember that Al Bernstein made the point after the Ortiz fight that people should understand that his dispatcher, Mr Lopez, would certainly not be the replacement foe for Canelo as Lopez is just too small.  May I say that I have lived too long on this earth IMO and have little room left for fools, stupid people, and stupid situations.  What we have here is a stupid situation which Cotto is the logical solution too.  Oh well, why would one expect logic in this sport?

    BTW if Cotto thought he beat Jr. he is in need of counseling.
    Miguel = an example of the ratio: fading careers/ blossoming tattoos.
    (Also see Kelly Pavlik)

  8. the thresher 02:20pm, 07/12/2012

    Don’t blame Canelo; blame Cotto who seems to have vanished. Or Ortiz who broke his (Ortiz’s) jaw. Mandingo maybe. Or maybe Molina. Lara is too good for his own good and will be avoided by anyone who has any brains. Molina is not all THAT good either. It’s not Canelo’s fault. The best fight out there for him is Cotto who still thinks he beat Mayweather.

  9. Chris G 07:03am, 07/12/2012

    Well said, Robert. Lopez is a warrior, but he has virtually no chance in this one.

    Golden Boy is trying to hoodwink the unsuspecting boxing public once again. Sadly, except for the hard core fans who realize Lopez is (at least) 2 weight classes smaller than Canelo, it will work.

  10. Juicy Peach 05:40am, 07/12/2012

    bk don you are so right!!  These promoters want nothing but money at any cost.  It’s not that they care so much for their fighter but rather the money.  That’s as bad as a doctor giving patients meds when they don’t need it.  They forget about the person and think only about how much money they can make!  It’s a shame people only think about money instead of how it will affect the person.  Fighters beware of your own promoter as he/she is looking at the dollar sign instead of you.

  11. raxman 11:22pm, 07/11/2012

    this is an indication as to how serious Golden Boy are about Canelo stepping up. the rise of Canelo was always going to start with a fight against a past it legend - like oscar v chavez - although most of us agree the “step” that was mosley came a fight or two late.
    following this mapped out resume the next “challenge” for canelo needed to be a current, formidable opponent who while on paper looks to be still relevant, would lose as a result of his style and/or ability. of course p-dub was perfect - talent wise is respected but also if not shot , certainly exposed. for similar reasons kirkland and ortiz were the perfect replacement - on paper good enough to win but in reality canelo would be stretched just enough to show us how good he is
    with the two obvious choices gone Golden Boy are in trouble - if he fights, as this article alludes to, lopez, then he takes a step back in quality of opponent and credibility in the eyes of the fans
    i believe for canelo there is no choice, he needs to forget about the careful planning and match making stratagems and have a real fight.
    Carlos Molina is the guy no one wants to fight. his style makes fighters look clumsy - for this reason he is a dangerous fight. canelo should win but it’ll take his best - and to beat him would be to prove canelo’sabiilty and versatility.
    the other option, the greater challenge, is to fight lara. a superstar amateur and probably the most talented all round boxer at 154.
    this fight wont happen. probably neither will, but were canelo to fight and beat both he would rocket to top #5 p4p and a fight vs floyd would be on everyones lips

  12. Sharon Scrima 03:47pm, 07/11/2012

    I could not agree with you more! Golden Boy first showed Lopez a great deal of disrespect by announcing Ortiz as Canelo’s next opponent prior to their June 23 fight. Now they are trying to sell him as a “top-caliber boxing talent” to justify putting him in the ring with a bigger and stronger Canelo. True boxing fans are not falling for this. Once again, the business interests of the promoters, managers, etc.  are put ahead of those of the fans and the fighters. I am very disappointed in Oscar since, as you point out in your article, he could have made a material difference in how things are done. Instead, GBP is guilty of holding the sport back. I will be watching the Martinez-Chavez Jr. fight instead, a true championship fight that has been a long time coming for different troubling reasons.

  13. bk don 03:45pm, 07/11/2012

    “Golden Boy promised to be different.” They lied to us just like Arum and King and every other promoter out there. They are no different. My question is for Al Haymon, Lopez’s adviser. I understand his job is to make his client the most money but at what trade off. Your fighter just made it through a grueling 9 rd affair w/a bigger man, now you’re going to bring him back a couple of months later to fight a man even bigger. Doesn’t seem to me like Haymon even bothered to explore other opportunities for Lopez.

  14. NYIrish 07:14am, 07/11/2012

    Sing it, Robert. I’m with you 100%. This shapes up as a premeditated mismatch. Lopez will be giving away too much weight and experience. He has the heart of a lion and this could get him hurt. This shows the indifference most promoters have for the fighter. It only takes one unfortunate outing to permanently damage a fighter. De La Hoya of all people should see this. It shows disrespect for the fighters and the fans. I have been impressed with Alvarez since I first saw him. I will not be patronizing this event.

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