A “focused, stronger” Josesito Lopez to face Rafael Cobos
Josesito Lopez said, “The best is yet to come from me” in advance of Thursday’s welterweight fight with Rafael Cobos at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in support of a main event between heavyweights Luis Ortiz and Lateef Kayode.
Coming off a fifth round stoppage of Aaron Martinez in April, Lopez (32-6, 19 knockouts) will be in pursuit of his third straight win since suffering consecutive stoppage losses to Saul Alvarez and Marcos Maidana in five and six rounds in September 2012 and June 2013, respectively.
“I’ve had some tough losses but I realize that’s something that can happen when you’re fighting some of the best fighters in the world. So every fight is a big risk and I know that,” said Lopez, 30.
“So I’ve prepared a lot better now. I’m more focused and I’ve worked on a lot of basics in order to improve. I feel like I’m getting a lot better as I’ve move on. I think that I’ve been getting better, technically, and that I’m a lot stronger.”
Prior to facing Alvarez in his 154-pound debut, Lopez had captured the hearts of many with a career-defining, ninth round stoppage over former welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz in June 2012, breaking Ortiz’s jaw in the process.
Known as “The Riverside Rocky,” Lopez fought at what was then a career-high 144 and three-quarter pounds against Ortiz, representing Lopez’s seventh time weighing more than 140. The win over Ortiz helped him rebound from a disputed, split decision loss to Jessie Vargas as a junior welterweight in September 2011.
“I’ve molded myself into 147 pounds pretty well and I feel that I have more power at this weight. I’m able to manage my weight a lot better and I’ll feel like I’m at 100 percent come fight night,” said Lopez.
“I think that with that and having had a few fights at 147, I’m feeling the best that I’ve ever felt. I just trained really good for this fight. I’m working on a lot of different things. I’m going in confident and ready to show my stuff. I feel as if the best is yet to come from me.”
Cobos (15-4-5, 3 KOs) is 4-0-3 since being stopped in the seventh round by Humberto Mauro Gutierrez in May 2010 and was last in the ring for his third straight victory, a unanimous decision over Adan Gamboa in March.
“I know that he’s a tough fighter that comes in and tries to throw a lot of punches and hang in there. I take no fighter lightly,” said Lopez of Cobos, whose past three opponents had records far below the .500 level.
“I’m not too worried. I just need to have a good performance and do what I do. I’ve worked on a lot of things during this training camp, so whether it’s banging on the inside or boxing on the outside, I’m just ready for whatever is best. I want to be the smarter fighter in the ring and I want everyone to see it.”
Ortiz-Kayode headlines a “Golden Boy Live!” card to be televised on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes.
HASIM RAHMAN JR. TARGETS PRO DEBUT IN NOVEMBER
Hasim Rahman Jr., son of the former undisputed heavyweight champion, said he expects to make his professional debut as a cruiserweight in his native Baltimore in November.
Nicknamed “Little Rock,” Rahman Jr., 23, was featured in the second episode of Showtime’s “All Access” series in advance of Floyd Mayweather’s rematch with Marcos Maidana.
In action at Mayweather’s Las Vegas-based gym with Mayweather egging him on, Rahman won a 31-minute sparring round of a revenge match opposite a British amateur Donovan Cameron, who had earlier handled his younger brother, Sharif Rahman in a similar session.
HECTOR CAMACHO SR.’S SON, CHRISTIAN, TO FIGHT ON SEPT. 20
Christian Camacho (1-1), the 22-year-old son of late champion Hector Camacho Sr., will face an opponent to be determined on the Sept. 20 undercard of a main event between cruiserweights Francisco Palacios and Epifanio Mendoza at the Mela Room in Orlando, Fla., according to a release from World Wide Elite Entertainment.
IVANA HABAZIN, CECELIA BRAEKHUS IN HISTORY-MAKING FEMALE BOUT ON SATURDAY.
IBF titleholder Ivana Habazin and WBA/WBC/WBO counterpart Cecilia Braekhus will appear in a welterweight bout in Copehhagen, Denmark on Saturday toward producing the first female undisputed champion.
“On behalf of the IBF, I wish both of these talented women the best of luck on this day and congratulate them on reaching this pinnacle in their careers,” said Daryl Peoples, President of the IBF, via release.
“Ivana Habazin and Cecilia Braekhus have worked hard to get to this point and as an organization, we are proud to be a part of this momentous event in the sport.”
Photo courtesy of www.josesitolopez.com