Mikey Garcia v Juan Manuel Lopez: WBO Featherweight World Title
By Sevak Sarkisian: The highly anticipated showdown between WBO champion Mikey Garcia (31-0- 26 KO’s) and Juan Manuel Lopez (33-2-30 KO’s) will take place on June 15th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas Texas. It will be televised live on HBO along with a light welterweight attraction featuring young Terence Crawford (20-0-15KO’s).
The undefeated Mikey Garcia won the WBO title in his last fight against the veteran title holder Orlando Solido at Madison Square Garden. Mikey Garcia is a fundamentally sound fighter and is very well schooled in art of the sweet science. He is a very patient fighter and a defensively responsible one as well. Garcia also possesses a strong jab that backs up his opponents and helps him set up his power punches.
It is perhaps one the best jabs in the lower weight divisions in the current boxing landscape. He also has a lot of power for a featherweight with 26 KO’s out of his 31 wins. He is also an accurate puncher and possesses great technique. Mikey Garcia in my humble opinion is the best featherweight in the world and one the boxing’s best young fighters.
Juan Manuel Lopez on the other hand was one of the most talked about fighters just a few years back. He won his first world title as a super bantamweight by defeating Daniel Ponce De Leon by first round TKO. He then defended his title five times and went life and death in his last super bantamweight title defense against Rogers Mtagwa. (A fighter with 12 losses at the time) Lopez then moved up in weight to challenge for the WBO featherweight title and defeat Steve Luevano by TKO 7.
He then went on to defend that title twice against sub-par opposition before getting stopped by Solido in his third title defense attempt. Though Lopez has some good quality’s like punching power and heart, I was never too high on him as a fighter. I believed he was the result of great match making and eventually got exposed by a veteran slugger in Solido.
Juanma simply doesn’t have the defensive skill set to compete with elite fighters. He is very fun to watch and possesses effective offensive skills. However his defense will always be his backdrop and it will show in his upcoming fight with Garcia. Garcia will end up stopping Lopez within the distance.