By Terence Dooley
Britain’s hardcore boxing fans need to set their alarm clocks this weekend as BoxNation (Sky Channel 437 and Virgin Channel 546) have picked up Mikey Garcia’s WBO featherweight title defence against Juan Manuel Lopez, the former title-holder. The fight takes place at the American Airlines Centre, Dallas on Saturday night, so will be shown in the early hours of Sunday morning here in the U.K.
Puero Rico’s Lopez, 33-2 (30) is gunning for redemption after his two losses to Orlando Salido (TKO in rounds eight and 10 respectively). These defeats halted his charge through the division and presented Garcia with the chance to wrest the title away from Salido, which he did courtesy of an eighth-round Technical Decision win in January.
Garcia, 31-0 (26), has racked up lots of titles and victories during his career; however, the 25-year-old California-based titlist is now in the same position Lopez was in when he stepped into the ring against Salido. There is a big, fat target on Garcia’s back, and Lopez believes he can shock the undefeated champion.
Sure, Lopez is seen as more of a threat to Garcia than Salido was to him, but he now has some extra hunger to add to his undoubted talent and will be desperate to take Garcia’s ‘0’ as part of his big fight rehabilitation process. Champions are there to be beaten; no one knows this better than the 29-year-old challenger, which makes for an intriguing encounter in prospect.
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