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Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Francisco Vargas on July 12th on Canelo-Lara card

Canelo Alvarez Erislandy Lara Juan Manuel LopezBy Dan Ambrose: #4 WBO super featherweight contender Juan Manuel Lopez (34-3, 31 KO’s) will be fighting #2 Francisco Vargas (19-0-1, 13 KO’s) in a WBO 130lb title eliminator bout on July 12th on the undercard of the Erislandy Lara vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner of the Lopez-Vargas fight will become the mandatory challenger for WBO super featherweight champion Mikey Garcia.

Lopez, 30, was destroyed by Mikey Garcia in 4 rounds last year in June in a fight that was a little more than a massacre. After that loss, Lopez was considered to be washed up and ready for the junk heap by a lot of boxing fans of the sport. However, Lopez was able to get in excellent shape and come and destroy Danel Ponce De Leon in two rounds last March in an impressive performance by Lopez in Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Lopez fought well in front of his Peurto Rican fans, and he showed that he’s still got a little bit left in the tank. When Lopez is in shape and mentally and physically ready for a fight, he can still be a formidable threat to most of the top fighters in the super featherweight division. But with that said, Lopez doesn’t have the game to beat a fighter like Mikey unless he can bomb him out quickly in the first two rounds like he did against De Leon. If Garcia is able to get Lopez past the 2nd round, he’s going to knock him out the way he did last time.

Vargas, 29, is going to be a real problem for Lopez though, because this guy can really fight. He’s coming off of a 10 round unanimous decision win over Abner Cotto last March. Before that, Vargas defeated a very good Jerry Belmontes by a 10 round decision last December. Vargas isn’t a huge puncher, but he’s got the skills to give Lopez a lot of problems.


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