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Lopez likes the idea of fighting Marquez, but doesn’t want to overlook Concepcion

Bernabe Concepcion Juan Manuel Lopez Rafael MarquezBy Dan Ambrose: World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez (28-0, 25 KO’s) likes the idea of fighting two division champion Rafael Marquez (39-5, 35 KO’s) on September 18th in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, the 26-year-old Lopez doesn’t want to overlook his next fight against his number #8 ranked WBO contender Bernabe Concepcion (28-3-1, 15 KO’s), who Lopez will be defending his title against on July 10th at the Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.

In an article at Primer Hora, Lopez says that everything depends on how things go in his fight with Concepcion next month. Lopez can forget all about Marquez if he can’t win this fight. Concepcion has good power when he loads up on his shots, although he’s not considered to be one of the truly dangerous featherweights in the division.

He is still a very good fighter and if he can stick around long enough, he could possibly hurt Lopez in the later rounds of their fight next month and maybe pull off an upset. Lopez was on the verge of being knocked out two fights ago by Rogers Mtagwa in October 2009. Lopez was staggered in the 11th and battered unceasingly in the 12th but it made it to the end of the fight to win a decision based on his better work in the earlier rounds.

However, Mtagwa showed that Lopez can be hurt and if he can be hurt, then he can beaten if a fighter like Concepcion can land enough big shots.

Marquez could prove to be the hardest fight of Lopez’s young five-year pro career. He’s beaten his first 28 opponents without a loss, to be sure, but Lopez hasn’t been in with anyone nearly the same class as the 35-year-old Marquez. This is going to be a tough fight for Lopez. The one thing that Lopez has going for him in this bout is his youth and his lack of hard fights.

Because Lopez hasn’t had any real dangerous opponents like Marquez up to this point in his career, he hasn’t had to take a lot of punishment like Marquez has. There wasn’t a young Israel Vazquez to go to war against for Lopez. As such, he may have enough youth and energy to get by Marquez. However, you can bet it won’t be one of Lopez’s typically quick knockout victories like the ones he’s become accustomed to getting. Lopez isn’t a real huge puncher, yet he’s knocked out of his over-matched opponents inside 4 rounds in the past three years.

This gives the impression that Lopez is a harder puncher than he really is. He does punch well, but he’s someone that needs to batter his opponents over the course of a fight to stop them, unless they’re totally over-matched. Marquez will likely be still standing and trading late in the fight with Lopez, meaning that you can expect Lopez to be in for a real tough fight and one that he may not win unless he’s got the stomach for the kind of grueling fights that Marquez typically brings.

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