MANILA, Philippines – The boxing world was stunned anew when little-known boxer Josesito Lopez defeated former world champion "Vicious" Victor Ortiz in their welterweight bout at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Ortiz quit on his stool before the 10th round because of what he said was a broken jaw. He was leading on the judges' scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
"Josesito broke my jaw," Ortiz said in RingTV. "I had my mouth open and he broke my jaw...The corner wanted me to continue but I just couldn't."
Ortiz said the injury happened during the fifth round of the fight.
It was a stunning victory for Lopez, who took the bout just last month after Ortiz's original opponent, Andre Berto, tested positive for an illegal substance.
Lopez was a massive underdog coming into the fight, as he was moving up in weight and was facing a former world champion.
But he insisted that he was never intimidated by his bigger, more popular opponent.
"I have a big heart. He tried to intimidate me, but it didn't work," Lopez told ESPN after the fight. "Victor has no heart."
It was an entertaining fight as the two boxers went toe-to-toe for most of the bout. Ortiz, the bigger man, was able to catch Lopez with several strong shots, only to see the underdog come back with punches of his own.
"He hits hard, but I was never going to quit. I knew it was a close fight on the scorecards, and I knew I could press him more and more if I continued," Lopez said. "He's like a tree. I had to chop him down."
In the fifth round, Ortiz was given a warning when he pushed Lopez down and punched him at the back of his head.
Lopez earned the vacant World Boxing Council silver welterweight belt. His record improved to 30 wins and four losses, with 18 wins coming by knockout.
The result was disappointing for Ortiz, who was expected to come out strong after losing last September 2011 to unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The loss also scuttled Ortiz's next fight: a much-hyped bout against Mexican prodigy Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, in what would have been a showcase of Golden Boy Promotions' most promising young fighters.
The Ortiz-Alvarez bout was supposed to be held on September 15. Golden Boy president Richard Schaefer told ESPN they will announce a new opponent for Alvarez soon.
RingTV reported that Ortiz was taken to the California Hospital after the fight.