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Lopez beaten by Salido, fight with Gamboa now just a dream

Juan Manuel Lopez Yuriorkis GamboaBy Dan Ambrose: Bob Arum, the promoter for former WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez (30-1, 27 KO’s) must be kicking himself right about now after his fighter Lopez was stopped in the 8th round by the tough Mexican challenger Orlando Salido (35-11-2, 23 knockouts) last Saturday night in Puerto Rico.

Arum didn’t want to match Lopez up with IBF/WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in what would have been a minor mega fight. Instead, Arum ignored the fans that were pleading with him to finally match Lopez and Gamboa up with each other to find out who the best fighter is in the featherweight division. Arum wanted to let that fight marinate a while longer so that it would eventually be a huge fight that would bring in a ton of money.

With Lopez’s loss last Saturday night, it looks like Arum has lost his cash out fight for the time being. I don’t know that Gamboa-Lopez will be huge even if Lopez turns around and beats Salido in a rematch. Lopez does want a rematch, but you got to figure that fans won’t have forgotten the picture of Lopez getting pummeled by Salido and taken out in the 8th.

I honestly don’t think Lopez will beat Salido if they were to fight again. Salido just looks like the stronger fighter compared to Lopez and if I were Arum, I wouldn’t attempt to put Lopez back in with Salido anytime soon, if ever. But this has got to hurt. Arum should have seen how badly Lopez struggled in his fight with Rogers Mtagwa in October 2009 and noted how vulnerable Lopez was to getting hurt and knocked out.

Salido, a fighter with 11 losses, was probably seen as a safe fight for Lopez. He shouldn’t have been if that was the case because Salido gave Gamboa a lot of problems in his loss to him in September 2010. Salido made Gamboa change his game altogether, turning him into a finesse fighter in order to get the win. Lopez, a slugger, couldn’t make that kind of change to his game and was beaten.

If Arum does put Lopez back in Salido, then I’m betting that will be pretty much the end of the dream of Lopez-Gamboa being any kind of halfway decent fight with meaning. Salido will beat Lopez for a second time and the fan interest for the Gamboa v Lopez fight will die with that loss.

It will still be an interesting fight, but not a mega fight. How could it be after Lopez gets whipped again. I can’t see it being a PPV fight once Lopez gets beaten for the second time. That probably won’t stop Arum from making it a PPV fight, but it probably won’t do well other than with fans of Lopez bolstering the numbers.

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