Heroes and Villains of the Week

Hero of the Week: Josesito Lopez

It’s hard not to choose the 27-year-old from Riverside, Calif., as the Hero of the Week. Lopez is one of those blue-collar fighters who works his butt off, always puts in a quality effort, and never seems to get his just due when all the loot and accolades are being divvied up.

We all know that Lopez was brought in as cannon fodder for Victor Ortiz. He was signed as a replacement for Andre Berto in order to lose impressively. Then, Ortiz could take the highlights of a hard-fought victory with him to his Sept. 15 bout with Canelo Alvarez.

Lopez came in with a solid resume, but was significantly outgunned as a natural junior welterweight fighting an Ortiz who looked like a raging gorilla by fight night. But, just like many other blue-collar fighters who manage to become stars in the ring, Lopez kept pushing and pushing until his will eventually became the deciding factor in the fight.

At the end of the contest, Lopez overcame an Ortiz who fought hard until the very end. Really, fighters like Lopez are the reason most of us put up with all the crap boxing frequently dishes out to us.

His victory over Ortiz last Saturday officially made Josesito Lopez a main-stage player … and boxing is all the better for it.

Villain of the Week: Danny Garcia

A trainer prepares his fighter for battle and protects his fighter from all incoming harm — both physically and emotionally. Part of the gig is also knowing when enough’s enough and making that call while allowing his fighter to save face.

Victor Ortiz should not have been put into a position where he was the one who had to raise the white flag between rounds. Garcia, his trainer, should’ve listened to his fighter and waved off the fight himself. Instead, Ortiz took unnecessary shots from fans and media for “quitting,” even though it was the right decision to make. And as a fighter who had already been accused of backing out of a battle (against Marcos Maidana), the attacks were extra harsh.

A trainer should be selfless and should, when needed, take the bullet for the team. Garcia did none of that last Saturday night. He left his fighter out to twist in the wind and, in the process, a tough loss developed into a feeding frenzy against Ortiz.