By Jason Pribila: On the day that Arturo “Thunder” Gatti was inducted into the boxing Hall of Fame, Showtime Sports stuck gold by televising two fights that featured four blood and guts warriors.
When match-ups are announced in sports there are certain ones that seem to stand out in bold print. Promoters, fans, commissioners, and TV executives salivate when the ink has dried on the paper. However, as in all sports, what looks great on paper is not always appealing when seen through the lens in HD.
The main event in Carson, California featured what seemed to be a can’t miss action fight between Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez. After nine minutes of action, fans were made sure their seatbelts were adjusted securely.
Recently Lucas Matthysse has been anointed the biggest puncher in Argentina. On Saturday night, Marcos Maidana reminded us all that he has not gone anywhere.
Maidana landed powerful shots early against Lopez. Rather than wilting, Josesito abandoned his game plan to box, and decided to bite down on his mouthpiece and fight fire with fire. The strategy worked, and soon Lopez was imposing his will, and it was Maidana who looked like he was the fighter that belonged in the weight class 7 pounds south of welterweight.
Lopez landed a big left hook to Maidana’s hip that welcomed the Riverside, CA native to attack upstairs. There were moments that he could not miss, and Maidana was fortunate to get the minute respite between rounds. As he did against Victor Ortiz and Amir Khan, Maidana responded.
In round six of an even fight, Maidana finally landed a big right upstairs that sent Lopez to the canvas. Smelling blood, Maidana attacked and Lopez was defenseless to the oncoming fire fight. As Maidana pounded away against his stationary target, referee Lou Moret had decided that he had seen enough, and stepped in to halt the brawl at 1:18 of the round.
“I definitely thought that was how the fight was going to go,” explained Maidana.
“The one that he hit me in the left hip did hurt”, he confessed. “But (trainer) Robert Garcia helped me out.”
The always game and honest Lopez had a differing opinion.
“I thought the stoppage was a little premature. I got stunned, I got a little buzzed. I could fight my way out,” Lopez explained. “If I’m not down for the count, let me fight through.”
With the victory, Maidana has guaranteed himself another important, big money fight. Nothing will be decided until the dust clears after the upcoming Paulie Malignaggi – Adrian Broner title fight. Maidana’s style will match well, and he will a stern test for whomever comes out victorious in that scrap. However, there was only one name that Jim Gray mentioned as a possible foe.
Countryman Lucas Matthysse.
Argentina filled a soccer stadium when they hosted middleweight champion Sergio Martinez’s last fight. It would be an even bigger event if the two flame throwers faced off.
As of now, Maidana confirmed, “There is nothing concrete. There hasn’t been an offer made.”
That offer won’t be made for a while as Matthysse is set to fight Danny Garcia. Garcia is going to make that fight, right?
As for Lopez, the kid again proved that he is must-see TV. He bailed Showtime out twice and performed well as a fill-in opponent against Victor Ortiz and Canelo Alvarez. But, after three wars in a row, it would be nice to see him get a confidence building fight before he is matched again against the elite.