Josesito Lopez wants back in the mix in stacked welterweight division

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Former super middleweight world champion Anthony Dirrell looking for one last title fight before he calls it a career.

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Lopez vs Cruz — Watch Video Highlights | April 28, 2018

Josesito Lopez listed a shot at 147-pound champion Keith Thurman or rematches of losses to former champions Jessie Vargas and Andre Berto, and even a rematch against Victor Ortiz among future bouts on his wish list.

Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs) shared his thoughts following a unanimous decision win over Miguel Cruz (17-1, 11 KOs) on a FOX-televised card from Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas on Saturday night.

“I know Thurman’s going to be looking for a fight when he comes back,” said Lopez. “Vargas, Berto and Ortiz were all competitive fights. They’re great potential opponents for me. But I’m a fan-friendly fighter and a great match if you put me in with any of the top guys in the division.”

“The Riverside Rocky” scored his third straight victory with the win over Cruz, and it came a week after Adrien Broner and Jessie Vargas fought to a draw.  Vargas scored a split decision victory over Lopez in 2011.

Before going on his three-fight win streak, Lopez lost to Berto in 2015, getting dropped twice in the sixth and final round before getting stopped. At the time of the stoppage Lopez was ahead on two of the three judges’ cards.

Ortiz is Lopez’s biggest victory to date. He broke Ortiz’s jaw and stopped him in the ninth round in 2012. Ortiz was a player in the 147-pound division at the time, having handed Berto the first loss of his career the year before in a 12-round unanimous decision.

The welterweight landscape is very different six years later. Since they first met, Berto is 4-4 with three knockouts, including a fourth-round KO of Ortiz in a rematch in 2016 and a ninth-round TKO loss to former champion Shawn Porter in 2017. And Ortiz is coming off a majority draw with Devon Alexander in February.

“This is my third straight fight with Robert Garcia, and my third dominant fight in a row,” Lopez said. “I’d love to get rematches with any of the guys who are responsible for all of my losses. I think with a new trainer the result would be in my favor in a rematch.”

“I’m the perfect opponent for Thurman, and I’d love to get a world title fight against him. That’s a dream fight for me, and I’m confident that I’d make it exciting and give him a run for his money.”

Dirrell wants one last title fight

In Saturday’s co-main event, former 168-pound world champion Anthony Dirrell (32-1, 24 KOs) scored a first-round knockdown on the way to a unanimous decision over Abraham Han (26-4, 16 KOs), who was fighting in his hometown of El Paso. Dirrell improved to 5-0 with two knockouts since losing his 168-pound title by majority decision to Badou Jack in April 2015.

Dirrell wants the last fight of his career to be for a title against one of the current 168-pound champions — James DeGale, David Benavidez, George Groves or Gabriel Ramirez.

“A world champion is the only opponent for Anthony Dirrell right now, and he doesn’t prefer anybody in particular,” said Dirrell’s trainer, Javan “Sugar” Hill Steward, nephew of the late Emanuel Steward.

“Whether it be the WBA, WBC, IBF or WBO, Anthony wants a championship fight against anybody who holds a belt and that’s his last fight. That’s it for him.”

For a closer look at Lopez vs Cruz and Dirrell vs Han, check out our fight page.

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