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Orlando Salido vs. Juan Manuel Lopez II on March 31st

Juan Manuel Lopez Orlando SalidoBy Dan Ambrose: WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido (37-11-2, 25 KO’s) and Juan Manuel Lopez (31-1, 28 KO’s) will finally be getting back in the ring for a rematch next year on March 31st on Showtime for a fight that will be taking place in Lopez’s home country of Puerto Rico.

It’s unclear why 31-year-old Salido, the champion, has to go back to Puerto Rico to fight when he’s already beaten Lopez over there when he was the challenger earlier this year in April. Obviously, money is being waived under Salido’s nose for him to take this kind of risk.

However, I don’t think it’s going to matter where the fight takes place, because I see Lopez getting knocked out once again. Lopez fought well for the first four rounds the last time they fought but was then knocked down by Salido in the 5th and took steady punishment from then on until the fight was halted in the 8th with Lopez getting pelted with huge shots from Salido in the corner. The referee did Lopez a huge favor by stopping the fight when he did because Lopez was like a punching bag for Salido and the round was still only halfway through it.

Lopez had a number of excuses he used afterwards about this or that, but the fact of the matter if he couldn’t handle the power, the skills or the pressure from Salido and he buckled before it even got to the later rounds. We saw Lopez on the verge of being knocked out in a fight two years earlier against Rogers Mtagwa, so this really wasn’t unexpected.

All Salido did was increase the pressure that Mtagwa put on Lopez and then you saw what happened.
Salido has stayed busy since the Lopez win, beating Kenichi Yamaguchi and Weng Haya in his last two fights. Salido was shockingly knocked down twice by the unheralded Haya last Saturday, but got up off the deck to stop Haya in the 8th. Salido found out the hard way that you can’t overlook opposition.

Lopez, 28, hasn’t done much since the Salido defeat, fighting only once and beating Mike Oliver by a 2nd round TKO last October. Lopez got hit a lot in the two rounds of action and didn’t look sharp despite getting a quick win.
Recently, Lopez was seen looking quite heavy and out of shape. From looking at him, Lopez appeared to be at least 30 to 40 pounds overweight. It’s going to be interesting to see if putting on and taking off all that weight will affect Lopez’s performance in the rematch. You have to think it will. How Lopez, a professional fighter, can put on that kind of blubber is beyond me. He must be eating M&Ms and McDonalds food 24/7 because he looks a big blister bag.

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