Welterweight contender Josesito “The Riverside Rocky” Lopez has made his name as a contender in numerous memorable, action packed brawls throughout his career, and he expects more of the same when he takes on Francisco “Chia” Santana in FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View action Saturday, December 5 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“Like in all of my fights, fans can expect action,” said Lopez. “I’m going up against a tough competitor who comes to fight every time. I’d recommend that fans don’t blink, because this fight could end at any moment. I’m just expecting an aggressive, tough fight.”
Despite the pandemic affecting fight dates and camps throughout the sport, Lopez has been able to have as smooth a camp as possible with his coach Robert Garcia, even with some adjustments being made.
“This training camp is going great, but there are definitely some differences with training during the pandemic,” said Lopez. “The gym is limited to just our team members and sparring partners, but the grind is still the same with coach Garcia. We’re being extra safe, but the effort is the same as it was before.
“I’ve been training for six weeks so far, and now we’ve got a little less than four weeks to go. I’ve really kept busy and basically trained all year though, since I was anticipating that a fight could come at any time. I wanted to stay ready.”
Garcia has helped bring about a career renaissance for Lopez that has included a victory over then unbeaten Miguel Cruz and a narrow title fight loss to Keith Thurman, that saw Lopez hurt and nearly stop the then unbeaten Thurman in January 2019 on FOX. Most recently, Lopez knocked out another veteran contender known for action fights, as he stopped John Molina Jr. in the eighth round of their September 2019 FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View fight.
“It’s been a tremendous difference working with coach Garcia,” said Lopez. “My mental state and my physical training are much better with him. This is like my second life in this sport. I wish I could have started working with him sooner. But now we’re just continuing to make progress and working towards the biggest fights possible.”
Lopez has his eyes set on the elite of the star-studded welterweight division, including the winner of the main event on December 5, a welterweight title unification between Errol Spence Jr. and Danny Garcia. With a litany of big names in his sights, Lopez vows to be ready for any top fighter that he is able to get in the ring with.
“I’m not going after any particular name, but I’d love to get a fight with any of the top welterweights that are out there,” said Lopez. “I definitely think I’m prepared for any of them. Right now I’m just waiting for my moment.
Despite the prospect of these potentially career-defining fights, Lopez has his focus set squarely on Francisco Santana on December 5.
“I have a big obstacle in front of me with Santana and I have to take care of business with him first on December 5,” said Lopez. “Santana is not an easy fight whatsoever. He’s a good fighter who’s given some of the top guys a run for their money. So if I’m able to dominate and get a decisive victory against him, then I’ll be able to show that I’m ready for the best in boxing’s deepest division.”