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Lopez-Lontchi, Ortiz-Maidana this Saturday – News

Juan Manuel Lopez Marcos Rene Maidana Victor OrtizBy Sean McDaniel: WBO super bantamweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez (25-0, 23 KO’s) will be facing undefeated challenger Olivier Lontchi (18-0-1, 8 KO’s) in a 12-round bout at the Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Incredibly, the bout will be a pay-per-view fight which was past on by both Showtime and HBO cable networks, who probably saw the fight as a one-sided mismatch and decided to pass on it because of that.

It isn’t that Lontchi, 26, is a bad fighter, but rather he hasn’t been shown enough on national television for boxing fans to know who he is or care about wanting to see the 25-year-old Lopez fight him. Lopez is a great fighter, but he’s not quite established enough in the sport for him to be heading pay-pay-view cards as of yet.

Up until now, Lopez’s biggest wins have come over Daniel Ponce de Leon, a 1st round knockout in June 2008, and a recent win over 36-year-old Gerry Penalosa in April 2009. That’s pretty much it for Lopez, which is why I’m wondering why Lopez’s promoter Bob Arum decided to make this a pay-per-view bout.

I couldn’t frankly see it being a pay-per-view bout even if Lopez was fighting Celestino Caballero or Rafael Marquez. I just don’t see the interest for a fight like this other than with diehard fans. Arum seems to have over-judged the fan interest in Lopez.

I’m sure he’ll someday be a popular fighter, but after only two solid wins in his career against top level opposition, that’s not enough to warrant that fans should have to pay big money to see his fights. For me, Lopez would be a good ESPN 2 attraction or at the most, HBO or Showtime, but not pay-per-view.

He’s not there yet and I wouldn’t pay a dime to see him fight, especially against a fighter like Lontchi, who was held to a 10-round draw against little known Eduardo Garcia in August 2008. I saw the fight and felt that Garcia should have won the bout because of his better work.

Ortiz vs. Maidana for Interim Light Welterweight title on Saturday

Victor Ortiz (24-1-1, 19 KO’s) will be taking on a hard puncher in Marcos Rene Maidana (25-1, 24 KO’s) for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) light welterweight title this Saturday night at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California.

Ortiz, 22, is being thrown in the deep waters in his fight with the knockout artist Maidana, because he’s a big step up from what Ortiz has been in with thus far in his five year pro career. Being a Golden Boy Promotions fighter, Ortiz has had the benefit of being around good sparring partners on a world class level.

However, Maidana has a style that is going to put Ortiz’s skills to a test on Saturday night, because Ortiz likes to think of himself as a slugger and he’ll be facing a puncher in Maidana who punches harder than him and who has incredible stamina. Maidana is coming off a close 12-round split decision against WBA light welterweight champion Andriy Kotelnik in February, and gave Kotelnik all kinds of problems.

Kotelnik was able to beat Maidana narrowly by keeping the fight mostly on the outside. When the two exchanged shots, Maidana got the better of Kotelnik on most occasions. Ortiz isn’t much of a boxer and likes to slug it out with his opponents, but he’s going to have to make some adjustments against Maidana otherwise I can see Ortiz getting knocked out.

He doesn’t have the chin or the power to stand and trade with a big puncher like Maidana for long and if he makes the mistake of trying to go toe-to-toe with Maidana, I can see this fight ending early for Ortiz.

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