By Nicolas Samuilov, notifight.com
Fully acclimated to the temperature from training in Oxnard, California, Argentine boxer Jesus Cuellar says there is a deal in place to defend the interim-featherweight title of the World Boxing Association (WBA) against former two-division champion Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez (34-4, 31 KOs) of Puerto Rico on Thursday, the 11th of September at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Last week, BoxingScene.com reported that Cuellar might possibly face Juanma on the September date, which Fox Sports 1 will televise.
Juanma is dropping back to featherweight, after moving up to 130-pounds for his last fight and getting stopped in three rounds by the much bigger Francisco Vargas in three rounds. Cuellar is trained by veteran coach Robert Garcia.
"It is confirmed. It's all set to fight Juan Manuel Lopez. It is on the 11th of September in Las Vegas. It was said in some quarters that perhaps [the fight would get] moved to September 13, on the same evening of 'Chino' Maidana against Mayweather, but it won't. It will be on Thursday the 11th," said Cuellar to Ring Side Radio in Buenos Aires.
"I still have not seen the contract. But surely I will sign it this week. Everything is set. Some time ago, earlier in my career when I was not champion, they offered me a fight with him, but in another division. As he was at super featherweight and I said no. He's a tough opponent, who hits very hard, and he comes forward. He has a heavy punch. I respect him."
"I want to fight Abner Mares. It's the fight I'd like. If I win this fight with Lopez, I will show that I can deal with Mares. It would be a very good fight."