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Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Orlando Salido on April 16th

By Craig Joseph Daly: April 16th (Saturday), 2011
At Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Juan Manuel Lopez (30-0-0) 27KO’s vs. Orlando Salido (34-11-2) 22KO’s

With the fight less than a month away, I’m hearing an increasing number of people talk up the chances of the wily Mexican veteran Salido playing the role of spoiler in what is essentially Lopez’ homecoming. Lopez, like his fellow countryman Miguel Cotto is one of the most exciting performers in the sport. He possesses an arsenal of offensive weaponry but similar to Cotto, that which makes him so exciting is his vulnerability.

Make no mistake Salido can bang and don’t be fooled by the lofty number in his defeats column. The last time Juanma Lopez fought a boxer in double figures in terms of defeats, Rogers Mtagwa, the bout turned into a near life or death struggle with Lopez all but out on his feet for the last two rounds. I myself have never had the pleasure to visit San Juan but I’m aware of the city’s party atmosphere and if Lopez’ training regime is shaping up to resemble more rum diaries than sports science journal we could be in for the first shock of 2011. Cast your minds back six years, when the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico was the setting for Miguel Cotto’s similar showcase. On that night, the heavily favoured Cotto faced an all but written off DeMarcus Corley who almost ripped up the script in round 3 when he exploded a right hook off the temple of Cotto before the Puerto Rican weathered the storm and came back to pull out the victory but not before several anxious moments.

In my opinion however, Lopez will chalk up victory number 31 on the night as a mega fight versus division nemesis Yuriorkis Gamboa looms should he defeat Salido. Salido has of late shown a propensity for poor preparation himself. In his last fight he dropped a unanimous decision to Gamboa but not before over re-hydrated beyond the regulation weight limit on the day of the bout. Upset Likelihood: Slim

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