Juan Manuel Lopez is 33-2 with 30 knockouts. He won his first 30 fights and he has won world titles in two weight classes. But at 29, the former super bantamweight and featherweight champion is faced with a must-look-good scenario in his challenge to featherweight champion Mikey Garcia on June 15 at American Airlines Center in Dallas (on HBO).
Lopez, of Puerto Rico, doesn’t necessarily need to beat Garcia. But if he gets routed, it will be difficult for his promoter, Bob Arum, to get him back on HBO. It might not seem fair, what with Lopez’s accomplishments, and Arum agrees. But …
“No, but life isn’t fair,” Arum said. “And also, there are a limited number of network dates and you can’t blame them that they want to go with the best attractions, the guys who haven’t lost or if they lost, people want to see them again.
“If Juanma (Lopez) and Mikey have a ferocious fight and it’s just a slugfest, a Fight of the Year candidate, it doesn’t matter who wins or loses. But if Mikey blows out Juanma, not good for Juanma.”
Lopez is 3-2 in his past five bouts. But the two losses – to Orlando Salido in 2011 and 2012, were via technical knockout.
Garcia, of Oxnard, is 31-0 with 26 knockouts. He is trained by his brother, former super featherweight champion Robert Garcia.