Today, FOX Sports announces former multiple-division world champion Robert Guerrero joins blow-by-blow announcer Sean Grande to call PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS: LOPEZ VS. CRUZ live on FOX Saturday, April 28 (8:30 PM ET), from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas. Jordan Hardy serves as ringside reporter, while Ray Flores handles ring announcing. On FOX Deportes, Jaime Motta joins blow-by-blow announcer Jesse Losada to call the action in Spanish.
Josesito Lopez and Miguel Cruz are fighters at very different stages of the warrior lifecycle. This Saturday night on a FOX-televised card (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT) at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, the two will meet in a 10-round welterweight battle to see if one battling lineage ends at the expense of another’s beginning.
Josesito Lopez vs Miguel Cruz -Live Premier Boxing Champions
Lopez (35-7, 19 KOs), from Riverside, California and nicknamed the “Riverside Rocky” for good reason, has had a career full of thrilling wars and blue collar-honest battles. The fifteen-year veteran has been in the ring with stars such as Jessie Vargas, Victor Ortiz, Saul Alvarez, Marcos Maidana, and Andre Berto—and has given all of them a tenacious fight.
The main event features a 10-round welterweight matchup between rugged veteran Josesito Lopez (35-7, 19 KOs) and unbeaten contender Miguel Cruz (17-0, 11 KOs). In the co-main event, former super middleweight world champion Anthony Dirrell (31-1-1, 24 KOs) faces El Paso’s Abraham Han (26-3-1, 16 KOs) in a 10-round 168-pound skirmish. In addition, unbeaten Mexican featherweight contender Jorge Lara (29-0-1, 21 Kos) clashes with Dominican brawler Claudio Marrero (22-2, 16 Kos) in the 10-round opening bout.
Fans can live stream the fights on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FOX or FOX Deportes feeds. The fight is available on desktop at FOXSportsGO.com and through the app store, or connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. In addition, fights are also available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.
Lopez’s technical vulnerabilities, along with the wear and tear on his body, make him a large target for emerging stars and, from this point forward, there will be a mad dash to test the Mexican-American’s professional pride.
A straight-line fighter with plenty of defensive liabilities, Lopez is like a lot of tough-as-nails battlers who rely on will and strength of character to see them through rough times. In born warriors, the ability to withstand and overcome makes defensive grace and nuance an afterthought—and the former world title challenger certainly fits the bill of someone conditioned to walk through walls rather than skillfully maneuver around them.
But the Riverside Rocky is not entirely without skill.
Lopez has a solid jab and, at least until things get heated, an underrated ability to control space and distance in the ring. Despite being a right hand-dominant fighter, he also has a deceptively effective left hook, which often takes opponents by surprise.
When push comes to shove, though, Lopez becomes who he is and fan-friendly wars ensue. This is when he becomes vulnerable to stronger, quicker, larger, and/or better-skilled opponents.
Miguel Cruz aims to be the type of fighter who can get past Lopez and move on to the elite of the division.
“I have respect for what Josesito’s done in the game, but at the end of the day, this is the premier division in boxing. I feel I’m one of the best guys at 147 and I will come out on top,” Cruz said.
“People are going to know my name after Saturday night.”
The fighter of Boricua descent has fairly heavy hands, but doesn’t seem to carry true one-punch power. He is also an assertive, come-forward presence, but not quite a pressure fighter in the truest sense of the word.
Cruz’s defects mostly fall in the area of defense and other basic fundamentals. Balance issues stemming from a legs-wide-apart stance rob him of some leverage on punches and also keep him from being effective in pursuit of more mobile opponents. The need to reach in against foes that maintain distance makes him susceptible to counters—and he has shown himself vulnerable to being marked up by flush shots.