by Miguel Rivera
The current NABF champion at lightweight, Juan Manuel "Juanma" López, said he was confident that he would become the second Puerto Rican this year to return to capture a world title. Lopez saved his career by scoring a second round knockout over Daniel Ponce de Leon in their rematch earlier this year.
On July 12th, as the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Juanma will face undefeated Mexican fighter Francisco Vargas (19-0-1 and 13 knockouts), who is managed by Joel De La Hoya, brother of former champion and president of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya.
"We are well advanced with our physical condition and I feel great. We are working hard because I am determined to return to where I was, a place of honor. I've always said that at the age of 34 I want to be out of boxing, so I have three years left. Now we have more maturity. We have goals and we are doing new things. I have more encouragement and I'm seeing some things that we want to accomplish. Since my last fight I didn't stop working. Let's go in there and get that win," Juanma told Carlos Narvaev.