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Lopez-Salido II moved to March 10th

Juan Manuel Lopez Orlando SalidoBy Dan Ambrose: The Juan Manuel Lopez (31-1, 28 KO’s) vs. WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido (37-11-2, 25 KO’s) rematch has reportedly been moved from March 31st to March 10th with fight still taking place in Lopez’s home country of Puerto Rico due to his ability to draw huge crowds there. The last time the two fighters met a year ago, Salido wore Lopez down with hard right hands after discovering early on that Lopez had no defense for a right hand whatsoever.

The outcome was inevitable by the 5th round after Salido hurt Lopez with two hard right hands to the head. At the stop of the 6th, Lopez looked almost groggy as he stood up to start the round. He closed his eyes a couple of times and kept them shut for a long time like someone who wasn’t all there.

Salido continued to batter Lopez in the 6th, 7th and 8th rounds until the referee did a smart thing and saved Lopez from taking any further punishment in the 8th. Since then, Lopez has fought only once, beating a 2nd tier fighter Mike Oliver by a 2nd round TKO last October. Lopez took a lot of punches in that two rounds of action and he’s lucky Oliver didn’t have a high punch resistance because if that guy could have stayed on his feet for the entire fight, he would have knocked out Lopez too.

The problem for Lopez is his promoter Bob Arum has matched him too softly during his career and he’s become accustomed to blowing out fodder opposition in one or two rounds. When he faces guys that don’t disappear after four or five rounds, Lopez starts to struggle because he doesn’t have much of a chin himself and can’t block right hands. Rogers Mtagwa had Lopez out on his feet in the 12th round and had there been another 30 seconds in that round, Mtagwa would have knocked Lopez out too.

If Lopez can stay on his feet against Salido for 12 rounds, he’ll win the fight no matter what. Don’t matter if he gets dominated in a sickening fashion, if Lopez finishes on his feet, he’ll very likely win the fight. It’s a home fight and that probably counts for like 9 rounds right off the bat for Lopez. The only way Salido wins if he knocks him out. But that’s exactly what I see happening.

Lopez will be stumbling around look punch drunk by the 6th round and there’s no way he can eat right hands for another six rounds and win the fight. I’m guessing his trainer along with Arum’s help will come up with some kind of running style for Lopez to use in order for him to survive the 12 rounds and get the decision handed to him. But I think Salido will cut off Lopez and knock him cold and to negate Lopez’s hometown advantage in this fight.

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