Victor Ortiz throws a right punch against Josesito Lopez during their WBC… (Kevork Djansezian / Getty…)
Victor Ortiz will seek to exercise a rematch clause in his deal with Josesito Lopez, the Ventura fighter’s manager reported Monday.
Lopez, of Riverside, defeated Ortiz by a surprising technical knockout Saturday night at Staples Center when Ortiz declined to answer the bell for the 10th round after suffering a broken jaw.
The stunning development came after Lopez stepped in to replace world welterweight champion Andre Berto for the bout, and while Ortiz was leading on all three judges’ scorecards.
Lopez manager Alex Camponovo confirmed a rematch clause exists with Ortiz, but added, “We don’t know the extent of his injuries. We’ll wait and see what happens, and what options are out there for Jose. But I can tell you he’ll fight anybody.”
Ortiz’s manager, Rolando Arellano, said Ortiz’s jaw was broken in two places, requiring surgery that included the insertion of a titanium plate and three screws to hold it in place.
Arellano said the injury seems to confirm Ortiz’s belief that his jaw was first broken in the fifth round, because he was experiencing jaw pain that made him reluctant to “put his head down and fight.”
Then, following another hard Lopez punch to Ortiz’s jaw in the ninth round, Ortiz believes the jaw was broken again.
“The jaw was locked open, and Victor said he started gagging on his own blood,” Arellano said. “Victor told me he felt a sharp pain like nothing he’d ever felt before in the ninth, and the bleeding concerned him and his corner.”
Ortiz’s toughness has long been a question mark after a dubious effort in a 2009 Staples Center loss to Marcos Maidana and his kiss and hugging of Floyd Mayweather Jr. after Ortiz head-butted the fighter in September.
Arellano said, “Victor fought for four rounds with a broken jaw. Thinking this kid is a punk is ignorance at its highest level.
“Victor knows this stuff happens in this sport. He said, ‘I was beating him, I felt the knockout coming,’ but this stuff happens.”
Arellano said Ortiz will need an estimated four months to recover, and even though he’s watching a multi-million-dollar pay day against Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vanish because of the defeat, Arellano said, “The ‘Canelo’ fight will always be there. It might even be bigger.”
Alvarez will spend Monday and Tuesday mulling possibilities for his Sept. 15 fight, with candidates possibly including Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland and Austin Trout.
A source close to the negotiations but not authorized to speak publicly said world super-welterweight champion Trout’s name “is on the short list. He’s a possibility based on the fact there’s not a lot of readily available guys.”
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