Boxing Forum - Boxing Discussion Forums banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Ted Sares

Puerto Rico has a proud tradition of great fighters. At the top, names like Sixto Escobar Jose Chegui Torres, Wilfred Benitez, Wilfredo Gomez, Alfredo Escalera, Wilfredo Vazquez, Esteban DeJesus, Carlos DeLeon, Carlos Ortiz, Edwin Rosario, Hector Camacho, Felix Trinidad, resonate and now Miguel Cotto is making his claim to boxing greatness. Given the size Puerto Rico, the pantheon of its champions is disproportionately staggering

Now, a new name is out there and many are saying he might be the next in the line of Campeones De Gran. He is Super bantamweight Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez, 19-0- with 17 KOs and a KO percentage of 95%.

As an amateur, he represented Puerto Rico at numerous international tournaments including the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games, 2003 Pan Am Games, and the 2004 summer Olympics.

His professional career began in 2005 and he won his first nine fights by knockout before winning his first decision. In 2006, he beat Jose Alonso to win the vacant WBO Latin Super Bantamweight Championship, a regional championship sanctioned by the WBO.

In June 2007, he iced Brazilian Giovanni “Sugar” Andrade, 56-11 with 46 Kos, in one round in San Juan. He then traveled to Chicago and fought Mexican Hugo “Canelito” Dianzo, 31-12-1, and won when the fight was stopped at the end of ten because of a cut on Canelito’s scalp. The fight was more competitive than anticipated and Lopez was rocked on more than one occasion by the Mexican’s shots. Still, when the dust settled, he was the winner but some of the luster had come off.

Some are calling for a Lopez vs. Daniel Ponce de León but off his recent fight with Dianzo, I’d say that was premature….very premature. But make no mistake, Lopez, a southpaw with speed, poise, balance, intelligence and charisma, seems to have it all — he can box, punch, move or stand and fight. He needs two or three more step-up fights before he thinks about a monster like Ponce De Leon. A match up with undefeated Abner Mares might make far more sense.

At any rate, I am not quite ready to anoint the undefeated Puerto Rican (who is already ranked at number three by the WBO), as the next great professional boxer from Puerto Rico. But if he continues to fight and win as often as he has been, I will jump aboard his bandwagon, and quickly at that.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top