By Ryan Burton and Damián Ferrer Reyes
Boxingscene has been advised that former two-division champion Juan Manuel Lopez may face Filipino Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista (34-2) in January instead of a planned appearance on an HBO tripleheader on January 19th. Orlando Salido will defend his WBO featherweight belt and WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will face an opponent to be determined in the other televised fights.
The potential Lopez-Bautista matchup would most likely headline an independent pay-per-view card and would take place in Puerto Rico. According to our sources some members of Lopez's camp prefer he faces someone such as Bautista in more of a tune up fight before he takes a big fight.
Bautista has won 8 fights in a row since losing a decision to Heriberto Ruiz in November, 2008. Lopez has lost two of his last three fights with both losses coming via knockout against WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido.
The original plan for JuanMa's return from suspension was to face fellow Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. but the fight fell apart when Vazquez refused to move up to 128 pounds and Lopez said that he could no longer get down to the 126 pound featherweight limit. Vazquez would have been moving up from the super bantamweight division.
Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter and tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene's official audio on Tuesdays. The show is hosted by Ernie Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan Burton
Follow Damián on Twitter @esquinaneutralTags: Juan Manuel Lopez