Boxing


Juan Manuel Lopez Looks Set For Long Reign, Destroys Cesar Figueroa In Just 47-Seconds!

Juan Manuel Lopezby James Slater - Last night, in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, unbeaten 25-year-old southpaw Juan Manuel Lopez made frighteningly quick work of Mexico's Cesar Figueroa as he made the first defence of his WBO super-bantamweight title. Knocking the 30-year-old out with a hard combination to the head at just 47-seconds of the opening round, this particular Puerto Rico Vs. Mexico showdown was not at all competitive.

"Juanma," won the WBO belt with a similar performance against yet another Mexican back in June when he iced the big-hitting Daniel Ponce de Leon in just one round, now figures to be some long reigning world champion. Improving to a very impressive 23-0(21) last night, the newest Puerto Rican sensation looked awesome. Figueroa, who had been in with good men such as Humberto Soto, de Leon and Robert Guerrero, and had lasted much longer with them than he did against Lopez, fell to 30-7-2(22).

Okay, Figueroa was no great challenger and he was also a late replacement for the unbeaten Olivier Lontchi, but the manner in which "Juanma" got rid of the 30-year-old was still mightily impressive. Simply put, the lethal southpaw gave the impression that he is capable of doping the same thing to almost anyone he gets in the ring with. He did it to de Leon and before he's through there is little doubt he'll blast a few more guys out in a single round. Lopez, as fast and powerful, and above all, as accurate as he is, looks set for a long reign atop the 122-pound pile.

Last night's quick win marked the 25-year-old's ninth 1st round stoppage victory, and a further seven guys have failed to last more than three rounds with him. Only two opponents have ever heard the final bell against Lopez, the last one coming way back in June of 2006. Make no mistake, we are looking at one of the sport's hardest punchers, pound-for-pound.

And though some would, correctly, argue that Lopez has not yet faced the best in his weight division, you would have to give the new star at least a fair shot at beating anyone in his weight class. There are some great fighters at super-bantam; men like Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez (if they can still make 122) while Steve Molitor and Celistino Caballero, who meet in November, would also be great opponents for Lopez.

Indeed, the 122-pound division is looking like one of boxing's best and brightest right now; thanks largely to the devastating southpaw who turned pro in January of 2005. The next Juan Manuel Lopez fight can't come quick enough!

Article posted on 05.10.2008



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