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Lopez vs. De Leon II: A rematch four years too late

By Dan Ambrose: On March 15th, Daniel Ponce De Leon (45-5, 35 KO’s) and Juan Manuel Lopez (33-3, 30 KO’s) will square off in a rematch at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The Lopez-De Leon rematch should have taken place in 2010 and or earlier, as Lopez hasn’t been the same fighter he once was since his 8th round TKO loss to Orlando Salido in 2011. Lopez and De Leon fought each other in June of 2008 in a fight where Lopez halted De Leon on the 2nd round to capture his WBO super bantamweight title. The southpaw Lopez was a lot younger, and quicker at that point in his career.

While the 30-year-old Lopez is three years younger than the 33-year-old De Leon, he seems a lot older with much less in the tank at this point in his career. Lopez has lost 3 out of his last 6 fights in the last three years, and he looks almost like a shot fighter. Granted, Lopez has been getting beaten by tough opposition in defeats to Salido [twice] and Mikey Garcia, but the fact that he can’t hang with guy like this gives you a strong sign that his best days are well past him.

De Leon has lost 3 out of his last 7 fights, but his losses are a little more spread out compared to Lopez’s. De Leon has been beaten by Abner Mares, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Adrien Broner by a controversial 10 round decision. De Leon has beaten Joksan Hernandez, Jhonny Gonzalez, and Eduardo Lazcano in the last two years. Those wins are a lot more solid victories than Lopez’s wins in the last two years. He’s beaten Aldimar Silva Santos and Eugenio Lopez. Those guys are lower level fighters, and not even close to the fighters that De Leon has beaten recently.

As good as Lopez once was during the early point of his career, he’s probably going to be knocked out by De Leon and made to look really bad on March 15th. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lopez flat on his back wondering what he is after De Leon connects with something big.

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