“Juanma” Lopez’ One-Year Suspension Is “Nuts” Says Bob Arum
By James Slater: As fight fans have probably read by now, Puerto Rican star and former WBO featherweight king Juan Manuel Lopez has been suspended a full year by The Puerto Rican Boxing Commission, for his post-fight, mid-ring accusation that referee Roberto Ramirez Senior stopped his rematch fight with Orlando Salido “due to a gambling issue.”
Article posted on 04.04.2012
Juanma, who was TKO’d in the 10th-round by Salido in a terrific war of a fight, accused the official of stopping the fight prematurely. Ramirez did no such thing, as anyone who saw the dazed condition of Lopez can attest, but the Commission has nevertheless thrown the book at Lopez - with a $10,000 fine and some community service added to the suspension. Lopez, naturally, given the strength of the penalties, plans to appeal.
As soon as I read about the stiffness of the penalties Lopez was given I was shocked. I’m not the only one who feels the Commission has acted in a far too over the top manner. Promoter Bob Arum is one of them. The Top Rank boss is livid, as he made clear when speaking with Yahoo! Sports.
“I think it’s outrageous,” Arum said. “What they did to this kid makes zero sense. You can not and should not punish someone for saying stupid things when they’re being interviewed only seconds after being concussed. It’s the Commission’s fault for allowing him to be interviewed. What were they thinking? It’s nuts.
“Legally, he can’t be responsible for what he says in that condition. If it was the next morning, or after the concussion had passed, that’s one thing. But this is a guy who suffered a serious injury.”
Former lawyer Arum is absolutely correct if you ask me. Besides the fact that he had a nosy microphone and camera shoved in his face mere seconds after going though one of the most brutal, damaging fights of the year AND after he’d been hit by that vicious, head-snapping combo in the 10th-round, Lopez has also twice apologised for saying what he said. It’s entirely possible, that in the condition he was in in mid-ring, Lopez doesn’t even remember what he said anymore than he knew what he was saying when he said it!
What real harm did “Juanma” do? I fully agree with Arum on this one, and though at times many fans have precious little good stuff to say about Uncle Bob, I’ll bet they also agree with him here. Maybe, as Arum alluded to, immediate, mid-ring post-fight interviews should not be allowed any more. At least let an exhausted, possibly seriously hurt fighter get back to his dressing room and have a sit down before bombarding him with questions; some of which are often of the dumb variety anyway.
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