Josesito Lopez vs. Mike Arnaoutis on December 13th in Indio, California
By Dan Ambrose: Welterweight Josesito Lopez (30-6, 18 KO’s) will be trying to stop his 2-fight losing streak next month in a scheduled 10-round fight against 34-year-old journeyman Mike Arnaoutis at the Fantasy Springs Casino, in Indio, California, USA.
Both fighters are coming off of losses, but Lopez has lost to the much better opposition in stoppage defeats against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Marcos Maidana. In contrast, Arnaoutis has lost his last two fights against Chris Algieri and Issouf Kinda.
Lopez can’t fall apart and lose this fight if he wants to remain as a viable trial horse for the top fighters, which is kind of what Lopez’s career has turned into since he moved up to 147. He doesn’t have the power or the speed to beat the top welterweights, and he probably should move back down to 140 if he wants to have any chance at winning a world title. But the money is obviously good for Lopez in facing welterweights and in the case of Canelo, junior middleweights that sometimes fights welterweights.
Lopez needs this win because if he can’t beat a fighter of Arnaoutis’ class, then he’ll become less of an interesting trial horse for the top guys. Lopez has to be able to beat fighters like Arnaoutis for him to be able to stick around and get an occasional fighter against a top guy at 147.
Last year, Lopez pulled off a huge upset when he beat Victor Ortiz by a 9th round stoppage after Ortiz suffered a broken jaw. Lopez was in the process of losing the fight when Ortiz suddenly quit on his stool following the 9th round. That was a gift to Lopez because he had little chance of winning because he was trailing on all three cards at the time of the stoppage, and he was way down on two of the cards. Lopez literally needed a knockout or for Ortiz to quit for him to win the fight, and Ortiz came through and quit for Lopez to win.
In theory, Lopez could climb his way into the top 15 rankings and get a world title shot, but with the way he keeps getting beaten, it’s very doubtful that’ll happen anytime soon. Lopez doesn’t have the tools to compete against the best in the welterweight division, and he really belongs at 140. At least in that division he has an advantage after he rehydrates and can use his size to beat smaller fighters.