By Robert Morales
Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico went 30-0 before losing his first fight - to Orlando Salido via eighth-round TKO - in April 2011. Lopez has since lost to Salido again, via 10th-round TKO in March 2012. Even though Lopez has an overall record of 33-2 with 30 knockouts, Lopez needs at least a good showing when he challenges Mikey Garcia for his featherweight belt June 15 at American Airlines Center in Dallas (on HBO).
That is, if he wants to remain an elite fighter as far as the networks are concerned, said Arum, his promoter. Since Lopez has won titles in two weight classes, that may not seem fair, but it's the way it is.
"No, but life isn't fair," Arum said. "And also, there are a limited number of network dates and you can't blame them that they want to go with the best attractions, the guys who haven't lost or if they lost, people want to see them again.
"If Juanma and Mikey have a ferocious fight and it's just a slugfest, a Fight of the Year candidate, it doesn't matter who wins or loses. But if Mikey blows out Juanma, not good for Juanma."
Robert Morales covers boxing for the Los Angeles Daily News and BoxingScene.com.