Victor Ortiz, left, is expected to face Mexican star Saul "Canelo"… (Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty…)
Former welterweight boxing champion Victor Ortiz has a June 23 main event at Staples Center scheduled against Riverside's scrappy Josesito Lopez, but should Ortiz win as expected he has landed a Sept. 15 pay-per-view date against Mexico's star fighter Saul "Canelo" Alvarez at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Golden Boy Promotions Chief Executive Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoyaannounced Alvarez-Ortiz on Tuesday, titling the third version of the event as "Knockout Kings," and with a nod to Saturday's disputed Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight, Schaefer said, "Judges, leave your scorecards at home."
Alvarez, 21, has 29 knockouts in 41 professional fights, and Ortiz (29-3-2) has 22 KOs.
The 154-pound World Boxing Council title bout, to be televised by Showtime pay-per-view on Mexican Independence Day, was made after original Alvarez opponent Paul Williams was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident, and after replacement foe James Kirkland balked at the money he'd earn as he recovers from a right shoulder injury.
There's peril for Ortiz keeping the date, too, beginning with his yet-to-be-won bout against Lopez (29-4) at Staples Center.
"Josesito Lopez is coming to fight, and this adds more pressure to Victor Ortiz, to prove he belongs in the ring with Canelo," De La Hoya said.
Schaefer said he doesn't believe giving Ortiz the Sept. 15 date while trying to sell tickets to a June 23 fight is contradictory to good business.
"I think it helps sales," Schaefer said. "There's more at stake now, and people will want to see that. L.A. has embraced this card, with very few returns after Andre Berto fell out of this" due to a positive steroid test.
Schaefer said there is a contingency plan in the event Ortiz loses, "and those include Josesito Lopez." He said Ortiz will get the Alvarez fight if there's a draw.
The Sept. 15 card will also include a WBC featherweight title fight between Jhonny Gonzalez (52-7, 45 KOs) and the Southland's Daniel Ponce De Leon (43-4, 35 KOs).
Showtime will broadcast a four-part series promoting Alvarez-Ortiz, and a network executive said landing Alvarez from HBO could be the start of a similar long relationship the premium cable network had with another Mexican legend, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., who fought 19 times on the network.
Also, Schaefer said he was "not concerned" with comments last week by rival promoter Bob Arum that if Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. successfully defends his middleweight belt Saturday in El Paso that he could also fight in a Sept. 15 pay-per-view in San Antonio versus Sergio Martinez.