Can JuanMa Recapture Old Form To Beat Undefeated Mickey Garcia?
[Boxing Glove Notes]
Juan Manuel Lopez had a ring absence of almost two years when he suffered back-to-back knockouts from Orlando “Siri” Salido and lost his I.B.O. Featherweight Crown. He was also suspended for falsely accusing a boxing referee of being corrupt after the stoppage of the second fight.
Lopez, or "JuanMa," former two division world champion, 33-2, 30 knockouts challenges Miguel Angel “Mickey” Garcia, 31-0, 26 K.O.’S and current I.B.O. Featherweight Champion, Saturday, June 15, 2013 at the American Airlines Center, in Dallas, Texas.
In his attempt to win his world title back, JuanMa Lopez says this is his "chance to redeem myself, regain respectability, and prove to the boxing world that I am still a competitive fighter worthy of being a world champ again.”
From all appearances Lopez looks fit and ready for the big championship fight after his two comeback fights even though the opponents were just journeyman fighters but with good records. His tactics, his punching power to body and head, plus his speed, has shown that he has not lost any of his skills in that long ring absence.
Question: Is JuanMa Lopez really ready for the undefeated hard-hitting 126 pound champ Mickey Garcia, well-schooled by his brother Robert Garcia, also a former world champ?
He reminds many fans of the great Mexican Featherweight Champ of yesteryear, Salvador Sanchez. Garcia has raised eyebrows in the manner in which he uses his aggressive ring generalship and boxing style; studying his opponents, using his strong jab, round by round, punishing his opponent’s body or head.
Garcia has been quoted as saying that he is studying to become a Police Officer in the future and that the training in the Police Academy has allowed him to learn on how to focus on his opponents in the ring. “It actually allows me to ‘see’ or anticipate what the fighter will do,” he claims.
Both Garcia and Lopez are so evenly matched that although it is expected to become a “phone booth” ring war, it should not be a surprise if it goes down to the wire as a hard fought fight the entire 12 rounds to a decision.
I tend to feel that JuanMa Lopez despite suffering those 2 knockout losses is a little more "cagey” and ring smart than Mickey Garcia. When Garcia was fighting their common opponent Siri Salido, he appeared to be getting tired and confused by Salido’s tactics. He was getting hit by right hand after right hand; head and body, not adjusting until the fortunate stoppage for him. He won the title on a technical decision due to a broken nose he suffered when Salido head-butted him accidentally.
Lopez’s two losses to Salido were because of, in my opinion, his careless defense, dropping his hands and getting hit cleanly by the Salido wild right hand punches.
JuanMa Lopez says he was having problems making the 126 pound weight agreement by weigh-in time. He adds though: “I’ll make it and I will be ready to win my title back.”
“I love knockouts and I can assure you that if the fight ends in a knockout, it will be me knocking out Garcia,” he adds.
Rafael Ramos is the ref; he's from Puerto Rico. Ramos is a well-respected honest boxing official. I am however, troubled that not only Ramos’ name was revealed, but also the names of the judges, Levi Martinez, of New Mexico, Javier Alvarez and Oren Shellenberger, both from Texas, were published.
Many decades ago boxing official’s names were not announced until the day of the fight, simply to avoid any impropriety or outside coercive influences.