Originally posted on THESCUFFLE.COM
Undefeated WBO featherweight champion Mikey Garcia will face former two-division champion Juan Manuel Lopez at the American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas, USA on Saturday, June 15.
Mikey Garcia was coming from a technical decision victory over Mexican banger Orlando Salido in January wresting the title once held by Juan Manuel Lopez that he will defend on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark”
Garcia, 31-0 (KO 26), is a young and fast rising star that graduated from being simply called prospect, now making way to become member of the sports elite. He is a kind of fighter despite being young; He thinks like a veteran in the ring.
He is very patient and picks his punches very well with total precision. He tends to be very cautious in the ring. And has the tendency to be boring against fellow counter puncher. But against puncher/brawler, it will be very interesting to watch and that should be the case against Lopez.
A win against Lopez would help solidify his claim in the featherweight division and would get his self ready for another potential bigger name in the division, perhaps against brawler, fellow undefeated Abner Mares—WBC champion.
Lopez, 33-2 (KO 30) is coming from two consecutive victories against, Aldimar Santos and Eugene Lopez. He is trying to get back into the winning column after he suffered TKO losses against Orlando Salido.
Lopez is a two fisted fighter who wanted to slug it off punch by punch. He is a fighter that one’s get himself into a brawl stops thinking about defense and just throwing bombs after bombs, not caring if he gets hit as long as he hits. If you are in the opposite corner against Lopez be sure you can absorb wicked punches to your body, or you will drop to your knee.
Lopez cannot afford to lose this fight, if he wants to go back to the status he left before losing from Salido. A win against Garcia would make him beat the man, who beat the man that beat him. It’s a redemption against those TKO loses in his career.
Against common opponent—Orlando Salido
Garcia vs. Salido – Garcia scored a total of four knockdowns against Salido, twice in the very first round and once in rounds three and four. In round eight Garcia suffered a broken nose from an accidental head butt. The fight was stop and Garcia was awarded the title.
Mikey Garcia was a bit criticized for not continuing the fight. He was accused of quitting from the fight after the head butt. Robert Garcia, Mikey’s trainer, being aware that his fighter was way ahead in the judges’ scorecards, insisted that his fighter cannot continue. He knows that it is very dangerous for his fighter to continue fighting, having a broken nose, against a guy who is noted to be very strong in the closing rounds.
However, the blame cannot erase the fact that the 25 years old, fast rising prospect was schooling the veteran Orlando Salido. Salido was out boxed and was beaten by the punch all night long. He was always a recipient of well timed counters from a technically savvy Garcia.
Salido vs. Lopez (twice) – Lopez was defeated by Salido twice via technical knockout. It is a fight that Lopez believed he can defeat Salido into a slugfest. In the first bout, although up on his feet but unable to answer several punishing shots from Salido, the fight was stop by the referee. Lopez pointed out that the fight was stop prematurely.
In the rematch, Lopez didn’t learn the lesson in his first defeat. He met Salido head-on again. And even if he was wobbled several times, he chose to trade bombs after bombs. But Salido’s more powerful and devastating punches prevailed.
Looking into each gentleman’s performance against a common opponent, it is easy to say that Garcia has the edge, which I believe is the case for this fight.
However, I also believe that Lopez learned from the mistakes he made from the two defeats in his record. I think he will not rush to engage Garcia in a slugfest because he knows he will be walking ahead to Garcia’s precise counters. I think he will fight intelligently this time around. If Lopez considers plan B, I like to see him slug it out in the latter rounds and to find out how much Garcia can absorb from his power.
Nevertheless, I still think that the skills and slickness of Mikey Garcia will prevail and he will cruise into a unanimous decision.
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