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  Salido Rains Pain On Juanma

By Luis Cadiz Sr.
Photos: Luis Arroyo

 

Over 10,000 boxing fans filled the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, to witness "Maximum Rivalry: Puerto Rico vs. Mexico". Representing Puerto Rico in this outing was the undefeated WBO featherweight World Champion, Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez (30,0 27KOs). While doing the same for the raza Mexicana was Orlando "Siri" Salido, a rugged former champion (35-11-2, 23 KOs), of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, determined to rain down the pain on the defending Puerto Rican champion.

1st round was a tense one, not the average feel your opponent out round, as Juanma Lopez was looking for a home for his powerful left and Orlando Salido was pressuring him around the ring. Much of the same in the 2nd with Orlando making the fight look like it was being fought in a telephone booth with his constant suffocation of the champion. Both are swinging away in the 3rd, the Mexican challenger is not letting Juanma breath so the defending champ uses his jab to give himself some room. The 4th round had both fighters trading vicious attacks on one another, but Salido faired well in quite a few exchanges with his right.

The 5th was the shocker, a left hook followed by a hellacious right floored Juanma... And as he got up and walked to the corner, he looked bad. The 6th was the beginning of something out of a Hollywood script as Lopez would fight this round on his heart more than anything else. Salido trying to capitalize on what he did in the previous round went in for the kill but he got tagged with a Lopez left that then put him in bad shape. To the screams of "Juanma, Juanma..." Lopez battled back in the 7th and looked as if he were back in the fight, even staggering Salido with a crashing left.

The 8th had both fighters giving each other all they can take, but it wasn't looking good for Lopez as the wear and tear of the previous rounds were taking it's toll. Lopez's punches, though still with some power behind them, lost accuracy and Salido took advantage of every space left open by a deteriorating defense. Cornered, Juanma threw every punch in hindered desperation, trying to keep the WBO featherweight world title on island soil. But at 1min:39sec of the before mentioned round, referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. stepped in between both fighters to call a halt to the hostilities. Orlando "Siri" Salido scored the huge upset victory and became the new WBO featherweight World Champion with a TKO win over the previously unbeaten Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez.

The reconstruction of the former champion, Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez is already under way, with a rematch set for sometime this fall. But more than just a belt was lost here. Juanma now has a blemish on what once was a perfect record, his aura of invincibility is tarnished and the mega-combat with Gamboa will not be the same... If it ever gets done now. Yet the factor with the most weight behind it is the issue that he carried into the ring the night of the fight, his divorce. That should be his top priority on his list to recovering what once was his.



 

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