The Staples Center in Los Angeles was the site of two upsets last night as veteran Josesito Lopez made ex-titlist Victor Ortiz throw in the towel at welterweight and Lucas Matthysse outslugged former multi-weight champion Humberto Soto at light welter.
For southpaw Ortiz, this appearance was supposed to be a warm-up contest prior to stepping up to light middle to face WBC kingpin Saul Alvarez but Lopez, who was coming up from light welter, failed to play his intended part as the opponent.
Both fighters were coming off losses as Ortiz was making a comeback from the much publicized Floyd Mayweather fight debacle while Lopez, who had never previously faced world class competition, was returning from a setback against Jessie Vargas.
Although at a decided disadvantage in terms of experience and size, not to mention his late replacement status into the bout, Lopez proved from the first round that he had an edge over Ortiz in the heart department as well as the ability to take a shot.
Ortiz hammered Lopez early but could dissuade the local man from his continued efforts to gain revenge for every punch Ortiz landed.
Lopez continued to soak up the punishment and never stopped trying, connecting on hard counter shots and refusing to bend against the stronger former WBC welterweight titlist.
In the fifth, Lopez nailed Ortiz with a pinpoint right hand that possibly broke Ortiz's jaw but to his credit, Ortiz continued his best to try and KO Lopez.
The combat continued into the ninth round with countless exchanges that tested the will of both men, resulting in Oritz citing his jaw injury to stay on his stool rather than answer the bell for the tenth frame.
Lopez wins the biggest fight of his career and the vacant WBC Silver welterweight title, climbing to 30-4 (18), while Ortiz drops to 29-4-2 (22) with an uncertain future after two consecutive bad losses.
The undercard saw an interesting clash at welterweight between Mexico's former WBC super feather and lightweight champion Humberto Soto, 58-8-2 (34), and Argentina's Lucas Martin Matthysse, 31-2 (29), for the vacant WBC Continental Americas light welter strap.
Soto, the veteran of 10 world title bouts, may have had a clear edge in experience against Matthysse, with no title fights under his belt, but having turned pro as a bantamweight, Soto would have to be careful about trading punches with his opponent, a career light welter.
That approach worked well for the seasoned Mexican in the first two rounds as "El Zorrito" outboxed his larger rival from a distance.
But beginning in the third, Soto, who left his concussive power behind at super feather, simply could keep Matthysse off as the Argentine slugger forced Soto to stand and trade.
Soto managed to trade on fairly even terms but was being ground down by this approach, culminating in a brutal fifth round that saw Matthysse connect with hard shots, dropping the former world champ to the canvas at the end of the round.
Soto managed to beat the count but was on very shaky legs and could not come out for the sixth.
Matthysse finally wins a big fight after losing disputed split decisions to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander while Soto must go back to the drawing board and re-think his approach to the WBC light welter crown.