HOLLYWOOD, FL, August 7 – As he prepares for the 10th defense of his world title against Francisco Leal on August 29th in Mexico, WBA / IBF super bantamweight champion Celestino Caballero has taken time out of his busy schedule to address recent comments made by the manager of WBO champion Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Pinero.
“Orlando, I have been a fighter for over a decade, and unfortunately, I know how things work in this business when it comes to fighters who choose to avoid the real challenges in their careers,” said Caballero.. “They receive preferential treatment and are never forced to live up to their boasts of being the best fighter in their division. The real fans know the only real fight left for your fighter at 122 pounds is against me, and you have the power to make it happen by going to your promoter, Bob Arum, and letting him know that this is the fight you want.”
In recent stories in Primera Hora and El Nuevo Dia, Pinero attacked Caballero for calling out Lopez, but the longtime champion from Panama defends his statements.
“Orlando knows that if I didn’t bring up the possibility of this fight, he and his team would continue to run from me,” said Caballero. “Now the fans and the media are demanding it, so he has to respond now. And just so he hears me loud and clear, I will say it again – if Juan Manuel Lopez is the great champion you say he is, he will step up and fight me. This is a fight for the fans and the sport of boxing, and if Lopez cares about his reputation and legacy, this should be the only fight he’s thinking of. Just because Lopez comes from the island that produced great Puerto Rican champions like Felix Trinidad, Wilfred Benitez, Wilfredo Gomez, and Miguel Cotto doesn’t mean he’s one of them yet. Those champions never ducked a challenge. Don’t let him disgrace them by being the first. And yes Orlando, I will go to Puerto Rico to fight Lopez, so you can talk all you want, but if you go to Bob Arum and tell him you want this fight, I know he will get it done.”