By Miguel Rivera
There are ongoing discussions for an all-Puerto Rican battle between former world champion Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez and one-time top prospect Jayson Velez.
According to Velez himself, the fight with Juanma is being targeted to happen by the end of the year. Velez indicates that his promoter Javier Bustillo is currently in talks with Carlos Maldonado, who promotes Juanma.
"Bustillo and Carlos Maldonado, who I understand is the promoter of Juanma, were recently talking," Velez said to Jose Sanchez.
The contest, says Velez, was originally scheduled for September 2.
"But he (Lopez) asked for more time. He was celebrating his birthday these days and he has been inactive for a long time," added Velez. "He will be given the time he needs (to prepare)."
However, Bustillo says the negotiations with Maldonado have only been preliminary and the fight is far from materializing.
"I saw that Jayson made some statements, but I do not have any of that squared away. It is preliminary, "said Bustillo. "We're starting to take a look at that possibility. But there is still nothing. "
Bustillo made it clear, however, that if the fight broke out, the card would be in the hands of his company Universal Promotions, because Maldonado - president of Black Tiger Promotions - has no promoter's license of his own.
"It would be us (the promoters) but we have no date. It could be the main event of a DIRECTV Night of Champions card," said Bustillo.
López (35-5, 32 KO's), a two division world champion, snapped a very long layoff last October 29, when he knocked out Wilfredo Vázquez Jr. in the 11th round at the Ruben Rodríguez Coliseum in Bayamón. Afterwards he was suspended for several months for a post-fight brawl with Vazequez's head trainer.
Last Saturday in Mayagüez, Vélez (25-4-1, 17 knockouts) got back in the win department when he beat Giovanni Caro by knockout. Velez was at one time a highly regarded prospect who was trained by Abel Sanchez and showcased on HBO.