Mikey Garcia of Oxnard lost his featherweight world title on the scales Friday when he weighed in two pounds over the limit. But his fight with Juan Manuel Lopez still went on and Garcia stopped Lopez in the fourth round Saturday at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The end came when Garcia hurt Lopez with a right cross to the head, then decked him with a left hook upstairs. Lopez got up, but the referee stopped it at 1:35.
Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs) was unable to win back the title because he was overweight, so it remains vacant. Only Lopez (33-3), of Puerto Rico, could have left the ring with it had he emerged victorious.
Mikey Garcia of Oxnard was all set to defend his featherweight title against Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico on Saturday from American Airlines Center in Dallas. However, he was two pounds over at Friday’s weigh-in and was stripped of his belt.
Garcia, who weighed 128 pounds, could have weighed in again two hours later, but he declined because “he was completely drained,” said Lee Samuels, a spokesman for Top Rank Inc., which promotes Garcia and Lopez.
The fight will go on. If Garcia wins, the title will remain vacant. If Lopez wins, he will leave the ring with the championship belt because he came in under the 126-pound limit.
Garcia is 31-0 with 26 knockouts. Lopez is 33-2 with 30 knockouts. Their fight will be televised by HBO.
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.
A news conference will be held Thursday at American Airlines Arena in Dallas to formally announce the June 15 fight there between featherweight champion Mikey Garcia of Oxnard and former featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico.
Their bout – to be televised by HBO – will be staged by Top Rank Inc.
Garcia, 25, will be looking to make the first defense of the title he took from Orlando Salido in January. Garcia is 31-0 with 26 knockouts.
Lopez (33-2, 30 KOs) lost his title to Salido via eighth-round TKO in April 2011. Lopez tried to get it back in March 2012, but was stopped in the 10th by Salido. Lopez, 29, is 2-0 with two knockouts since then.