Lopez vs. Ponce de Leon: There Needs To Be a Rematch
By Manuel Perez: If you’re like most people who saw last Saturday’s bout between Juan Manuel Lopez (22-0, 20 KOs) and WBO super bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce de Leon (34-2, 30 KOs) at the Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, you want to see an immediate rematch. The fight, which had thought to have been a competitive one going in, turned out to be a quick 1st round blow out when the 24 year-old Lopez landed a sneaky left-right combination that Ponce de Leon never saw coming, knocking him flat.
Though Ponce de Leon made it up before the count of 10, he was in really bad shape and barely able to stand much less fight. As you would guess, Lopez jumped all over Ponce de Leon as soon as the fight resumed and blasted him around the ring with a blizzard of punches, ending when he caught him with another right hook to the head which dropped the game Ponce de Leon to the canvas. He tried his best to get up from the knockdown, but only succeeded in stumbling backwards and falling into the ropes. The thing of it was, the fight was over way too quickly for my sake and neither fighter were able to effectively prove who the better one is between them. I’m sorry, but I don’t consider Lopez as the better fighter just because he was able to score a quick knockout.
He’s never showed that he has tremendous power before this fight, and has beaten a handful of soft opponents with pretty average-looking punches. In the case of the knockout shot to Ponce de Leon, like I said, he never saw the right hand coming, because he was only thinking of the left hand. That to me means that he wasn’t used to Lopez’s style and didn’t know that he always throws a right hook right after the left hand. Next time out, Ponce de Leon will be ready for Lopez and won’t be caught off guard by a shot like that.
However, the fight needs to take place because it was more of a case of an unexpected blow rather than a situation where Lopez proved that he was a better fighter. Before the knockdown, it was Ponce de Leon who was controlling the fight with his jabs and straight left hands, giving Lopez all kinds of problems as the Puerto Rican fighter retreated, giving constant ground to Ponce de Leon. If you take away the knockdown, there’s no telling what might have happened in the following rounds, because Ponce de Leon was just getting started and hadn’t even have much of a chance to warm up yet.
There’s talk of Lopez fighting as soon as August 30th, possibly fighting on the same card as WBO junior flyweight champion Ivan Calderon. That would be a perfect time for a rematch between Lopez and Ponce de Leon, since it would help liven up the card and sell a few more tickets. I’m fairly certain that Ponce de Leon would be agreeable to that and wouldn’t mind fighting in front of a large Puerto Rican crowd. It wouldn’t matter to him, because he’s the type that is willing to travel and fight anywhere, especially if it means that he can avenge his defeat and recapture his WBO super bantamweight title.
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