When recently prompted with the question, “who do you think should throw the towel in?,” my first thought was that after this Saturday night in his bout with undefeated WBO featherweight champion and rising star “Mikey” Garcia (31-0, 26 KO’s) of Oxnard, California, Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez (33-2, 30 KO’s) should likely be considered a worthy candidate.
For many a boxer has had periods of inactivity following a loss or otherwise to come back better than ever, however, based on the way Lopez appeared after getting whacked by Orlando Salido not once but twice, he may be in danger of catastrophic injury of the long term variety. He just looks like damaged goods despite his recent victories against confidence building nobodies.
That’s not to say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks to avoid punishment, but the Lopez Camp never made any type of adjustments in their second go-round with Salido, nor have they to this day. So to think that he would avoid getting pummeled by the man who pummeled Salido is beyond me.
Primarily Lopez doesn’t feature sufficient head movement whether for defensive or offensive purposes, so that unless he inflicts damage first he’s a sitting duck. This not only on paper as regards this weekends scheduled encounter set to take place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, but in reality as concerns facing any A-level or elite fighter.
And that’s the thing. Will there be any regrets regarding the decision to continue his boxing career? We’ll find out shortly but truth be told some fighters can take it while others can’t, so that quite adversely affected upon getting hit flush “Juanma” seems to fall into the latter category.
To be sure, not only did he not know where he was subsequent to suffering his kayo loss at the hands of the Mexican Salido, but delirious to say the least he would come up with as farfetched a story as one could conjure regarding the outcome.
Without the slightest substantiation whatsoever, Lopez out of thin air would allege that both referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. as well as Sr., the father and son team who would respectively oversee bouts 1 and 2 with Salido, had a serious gambling problem.
Taking it a step further, “Juanma” would stick his foot even deeper in his mouth by alluding to a scheme by Sr. to stop the second bout so as to ensure cashing in on a bet. This would lead to a proposed 1-year suspension as well as $10,000 fine.
Of course Lopez had just been brutally knocked out and perhaps shouldn’t have been interviewed under such circumstances, but the fact is that many a boxer has been interviewed under the same set of conditions and I don’t ever recall such far flung accusations being made.
That aside, you can throw out Lopez’s two aforementioned set-up fights, as he’s in against a surging Garcia who looks like the goods. If Lopez doesn’t get seriously stretched in the early portions of this fight with his aggressive come forward style, then I’m off base and need to re-evaluate my perspective on the Puerto Rican.
Other than that, look for undefeated junior welterweight prospect Terence Crawford (20-0, 15 KO’s) in the co-main event to put on a sound fundamental showing if not a clinic against Mexican opponent Alejandro Sanabria (34-1-1, 25), the kind of showing worthy of champions.
This native of Omaha, Nebraska after a dominant performance against the ever dangerous Breidis Prescott looks to be on his way, grounded in the basics as are those of who reside at the highest levels of the sport, whereas those not so well-versed could be found elsewhere.