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Juanma beats Oliver, wants Salido next

Juan Manuel Lopez Mike Oliver Orlando SalidoBy Dan Ambrose: Juan Manuel Lopez (31-1, 28 KO’s) feels he’s now ready to take on WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido (36-11-2, 24 KO’s) after Lopez defeated his tune-up opponent, the over-matched Mike Oliver (25-3, 8 KO’s), last Saturday night in a 2nd round TKO win at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Lopez wanted the tune-up fight to get him prepared for the Salido fight, but he still doesn’t look even close to being ready to fight Salido again despite mowing down Oliver. Lopez knocked Oliver down three times in the fight before the referee Roberto Ramirez stopped the bout at 2:32 of the round.

Lopez said “I want to get the rematch with Salido. I am ready to become world champion again.”

There was nothing I saw in Lopez’s performance against Oliver that suggests that a rematch between Lopez and Salido will be any different than last time out. If anything, it will be worse the next time, because Lopez looked fleshy, slow and not in great condition against Oliver. Maybe it’s age creeping up on Lopez or bad eating habits, but whatever the case he didn’t look great in that fight. In contrast, Salido looked like pure iron in stopping Kenichi Yamaguchi in the 11th round last July. Salido was so much better than what Lopez looked and gave Yamaguchi a terrible beating.

Lopez was hit often by Oliver and looked shocked at the energy and speed from him. I don’t think Lopez was prepared for the kind of aggression that Oliver was showing him. But what struck me about the fight is how much slower Lopez looked compared to his fights from a couple of years ago, even his loss to Salido. Lopez is slowing down and he doesn’t look like he’s capable of fighting a 12 round fight without going life and death against someone. Salido will destroy Lopez in their rematch next year, there’s no question in my mind about that.

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