Originally posted on The Queensbury Rules  |  Last updated 6/20/12

Thank god for Mexicans and Americans of Mexican descent, who are largely carrying professional boxing in the U.S.A,, at least this weekend. They did it last weekend, too, with an impressive win by middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., over Andy Lee in El Paso. A look at the trailer for the documentary "China Heavyweight" by Yung Chang above provides an interesting glimpse at what the future of the sport might be like, though. Cuban amateur boxers, trained in a similar hot house atmosphere, have historically found huge success in the professional ranks. It's probably only a matter of time before China becomes a boxing superpower. The London Olympics should be an interesting gauge of where the sport is at in that country.

Anyway, back to the Mexican Americans. You've got Josesito Lopez and Victor Ortiz battling it out at the Staples Centre, with Humberto Soto sharing the bill. You've got Mike Dallas, Jr. facing Mexican tough man Javier Castro. Puerto Ricans are doing their bit, too, with Rico Ramos fighting on TeleFutura. Awesome as they are, Mexicans can't carry the whole boxing world on their shoulders and there's some other stuff happening in Japan and an internationally flavoured heavyweight tournament in London.

  • Victor Ortiz vs. Josesito Lopez and Saturday, Showtime, Los Angeles. Ever reliable TQBR founder Tim will have the full preview of Showtime's Saturday night card later in the week. It's not quite the “holy amazeballs, batman” card it was before Andre Berto was forced to withdraw after testing positive to a banned substance, but it's still pretty good. Long time junior welterweight Josesito Lopez (29-4) is an action guaranteed replacement for the welterweight main event. Lopez is an honest young pro who's come up the hard way, incurring a few losses in the process. Reading Mark Ortega's piece on TQBR yesterday, it's hard not to cheer for him. Still, I'm not going to pick him. “Little Jose” might be a couple of inches taller than Ortiz (29-3-2), but he's a lot smaller across the chest. There's no evidence that he can crack at all at welterweight, where Ortiz has shown that he can still throw major hurt bombs. Lopez lost to Jessie Vargas last year in an entertaining fight where he brought the pressure but was outworked. Vargas didn't hurt Lopez, but Ortiz will. It could even resemble Ortiz rival Brandon Rios' three round barnburner of victory over Urbano Antillon in July last year.
  • Lucas Matthysse vs. Humberto Soto, Ortiz-Lopez undercard. On the undercard, skilled Mexican boxer Humberto Soto (58-7-2) faces Argentine puncher Lucas Matthysse (30-2) in a junior welterweight fight more mouth-watering than the main event. Soto is super skilled but has had terribly easy matchmaking over the years. Matthyse is not that. He's a natural junior welter, hits very hard and his two losses to Devon Alexander and Zab Judah were highly debatable. Some call him a slugger, but he's not a caveman like countryman Marcos Maidana. He's actually a classic orthodox boxer, working off a stiff jab, hard left hook and dangerous straight right. I think Soto, who was small at lightweight, is in way over his head here. “Zorrita” had some trouble with high pressure, physical lightweights David Diaz and Urbano Antillon in victories, and neither of those men is anywhere near as strong as Matthysse. Congratulations to Soto for finally taking a risk, but I think he'll be regretting it come Sunday morning.
  • Mike Dallas, Jr. vs. Javier Castro, Friday, ESPN2, San Jacinto, Calif. Stay away from Mexican pressure fighters, Mike Dallas, Jr.! What are you doing, bro? I mean, big ups for getting back in there and giving yourself a tough challenge, but maybe you could try fighting somebody with a different style. Maybe you're too macho for your own good. You've already lost to Mauricio Herrera and been knocked out by the aforementioned Josesito Lopez. That's pretty much my message for ESPN2 stalwart MDJ (18-2-1), who fights Ciudad Juarez' Javier Castro (27-4) this Friday. Castro's record isn't exactly flashy, but nor was Lopez'. He might not be quite as good, but he's a tough, hard nosed guy. Dallas Jr. ain't that good either. Should be entertaining, no matter what happens.
  • The Rest. Akira Yaegeshi (15-2), a participant in what was some people's Fight of the Year last year with Pornsawan Porpramook, faces Kazuto Ioka (9-0) for in a strawweight unification bout in Tokyo Wednesday... Kevin Johnson and Albert Sosnowski are amongst the third tier heavyweights competing in the three round, one night “Prizefighter” tournament in London tomorrow... Junior featherweight Rico Ramos (20-1) looks to get back in the W column against Efrain Esquivias (16-0) on TeleFututra on Saturday after a painful loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux in January.

This article first appeared on The Queensbury Rules and was syndicated with permission.

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