By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: June 26, 2012
IOWA CITY, IOWA (BASN) —Victor Ortiz was scheduled to fight Andre Berto but a drug test exposing Berto use of performance enhancing drug scuttled that fight. Ortiz ended up fighting Josesito Lopez. Before the main event, Knockout King Lucas Martin Matthysse faced the tough Humberto Soto. Matthysse has only two losses on his record, close controversial defeats to Devon Alexander and Zab Judah and he viewed Soto as an obstacle to returning to the elite status.
Got in the wrong face and lost the race
The fight began fast as Soto began with effective jabbing that created space between him and the more powerful Matthysee and this continued through the second round until the end of the round when Matthysee trapped Soto for the first time in the fight on the ropes. From this point, it alternated from a boxing match to a slugging match and this benefited Matthysee.
In the third round and fourth round, Matthysee unleashed vicious body shots while Soto countered with solid combinations on his own but by the end of the fourth round; Soto slowed down. The hand speed and foot movement that allowed Soto to escaped from danger in the first three rounds slackened. Matthysee garnered strength and momentum as the fight continued and at the end of the fifth round, a right hand stunned Soto.
Soto retreated and Matthysee nailed Soto with two more rights that sent Soto to the floor. While Soto beat the count and had a one minute rest, the Soto’s corner realized that their fighter was finished. Matthysee did not want to see the fight go to scorecard and he reminded others in the junior welterweight that he is still a force to be reckoned with. Soto showed courage and over the first twelve minutes; hand speed and nice combination allowed him to stay in the fight but the question that remains, would Soto be better off fighting as a lightweight and can he move down to that weight at the age of 32.While the post-fight question was the end near for Soto, Soto was up against one of the hardest slugging fighter in the junior welterweight and if two close decisions went Matthysee way, we would be talking Matthysee as one of the elite fighters.
In the main event, Victor Ortiz had a big money fight on the line with Saul Alvarez but he had to beat Josesito Lopez first. Moving up for junior welterweight, Lopez came in as the smaller fighter but he had a game plan. His plan was to play matador and step aside Ortiz bull rushes by unleashing his right. The right hit its mark as Lopez was able to nail Ortiz with his right followed by left hooks. Ortiz found that he could land his straight left as Lopez sometimes moved right in front of Ortiz left as oppose to moving left as his corner instructed.
Every round was competitive and in the fifth round, Ortiz nearly stopped Lopez halfway through the round but over the last thirty seconds, Lopez countered with a solid right hand of his own. Ortiz power appeared to give him advantages over the last few rounds before the end.
At the beginning of the ninth round, Ortiz began the round strong but at the end of round. Lopez struck with a left hook and a right hand that sent Ortiz spinning. Ortiz went to his corner but in the round, Lopez broke his jaw and he couldn’t continue.
Lopez won a fight that he was behind on the scorecard but it was a tough fight as Ortiz ended the fight with a broken jaw and broken dreams as his PPV big match went bye-bye. As for Lopez, he may have put himself line for some bigger fights in the junior welterweight and welterweight divisions.
In the first bout, Omar Figueroa looked impressive in one of those step up for fights that prospects go through as he faced the veteran Alian Hernandez. Figueroa started out jabbing the smaller Hernandez before he nailed Hernandez with a series of body shots; forcing Hernandez to the rope. From there, it was a matter time as Figueroa simply threw one power shot after another before the referee stopped the fight.
Jerrell Charlo showed adaptability as he out fought Denis Donglin before ending it with one big right hand in the fifth round. Donglin had trouble getting inside Charlo before the third round when he managed to follow his jab to Charlo’s inside. Charlo simply changed his style in the fourth round as he moved an inch or two further and this forced Donglin to move one step more before getting nailed with right hands. At the beginning of the fifth round Donglin’s jab missed but Charlo right ended the fight with one punch.
Showtime featured a good card with action fights throughout the evening but the main event had drama and an upset as Ortiz found his dream crushed when he could no longer continued.