Sabrina B.

Victor Ortiz suffered two fractures in the right side of his jaw during his action-packed welterweight fight against Josesito Lopez on Saturday night, underwent surgery Sunday and remained hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Monday, manager Rolando Arellano told

Arellano said Ortiz, a former welterweight titleholder, suffered the initial fracture during the fifth round of the bout but continued fighting until Lopez inflicted a second fracture with a clean left hook in the ninth round, after which Ortiz retired on his stool to give Lopez the major upset.


Arellano said that Ortiz’s surgeon inserted a titanium plate in his jaw along with three screws during the two-hour operation. Ortiz’s mouth was also wired closed and will remain that way for about two weeks during what is expected to be a six-week healing process.


Ortiz, however, is already thinking about his next fight, Arellano said.


During a visit with Ortiz on Monday morning, Arellano said Ortiz wrote down on a piece of paper “exercise the rematch clause” because he wants to face Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs) again, as is his contractual right, even though Ortiz likely won’t fight for the rest of this year.


Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs), who was fighting for the first time since losing his world title in a fourth-round knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September, was ahead of Lopez on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage.


“Victor broke the jaw in the fifth round. He felt a weird sensation because he couldn’t close his mouth all the way,” Arellano said. “So he was holding his glove underneath his jaw to keep it closed because it was hanging open. Victor fought four or five rounds with a broken jaw and every time he would throw punches, he would take his glove away from his jaw and it would just drop. He said every time he got hit on it, it felt like someone was slicing open his body it hurt so much. He didn’t know what was going on.”

Arellano said Ortiz eventually began to gag on “thick blood in his mouth. The doctors said it was extremely dangerous because he had internal bleeding, which they said they could tell by the thickness of the blood. This was a lot more serious than anyone anticipated at first when we just thought he had a broken jaw.”


After it was determined that Ortiz would need surgery, Arellano said he was transferred from the original hospital that examined him after the fight to the more advanced Cedars-Sinai.


Ortiz is expected to be released in the next couple of days, Arellano said.


Arellano said he would like to see Ortiz, 25, of Ventura, Calif., have the opportunity to avenge the loss to Lopez, a 27-year-old junior welterweight from Riverside, Calif.


“Of course, we want the rematch, just like Victor wrote down for me, but I just want to make sure this young man is OK,” Arellano said. “It was an exciting fight and we were winning but it was just one of those things that happen in boxing. It’s always unpredictable.


“Victor was down because the injury happened, but this is part of the sport. We know that we live by the sword and die by the sword, and we can’t stand here and cry about it. You lick your wounds and move forward.”


Lopez took the fight against Ortiz on a month’s notice and moved up in weight after the original opponent, former welterweight titlist Andre Berto, was dropped from the match after testing positive for a steroid in a random pre-fight urine test. Ortiz had outpointed Berto in April 2011 in one of the best fights of the year to claim a welterweight belt and the rematch was one of the most anticipated bouts of 2012.

The loss to Lopez ruined Ortiz’s next fight, which had already been set — a Sept. 15 shot against junior middleweight titlist Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a Showtime PPV headliner from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.