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JuanMa Lopez Annihilates Mike Oliver In Two Rounds

By Jake Donovan

Former two-division titlist Juan Manuel Lopez returned to the ring tonight for the first time since his shocking knockout loss to Orlando Salido earlier this year. The Puerto Rican southpaw took out his frustrations on Mike Oliver, scoring three knockdowns en route to a second round stoppage Saturday evening in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Lopez, 124 lb, fought from the opening bell like a man with a purpose, never allowing Oliver, 125 lb, a moment to believe he ever stood a chance, save for a flurry by the Connecticut native in the opening seconds of the contest. Few of the punches landed, but was enough to produce a small mouse under Lopez' right eye.

For those hoping it was a sign of things to come - it wasn't. Oliver was never competitive again beyond that point, all but shutting down the moment Lopez dropped him with a left hand midway through the opening round . Oliver took his time rising to his feet, attempting to clear his head and give himself every chance of fighting back. In retrospect, he was better off staying down, as he never gave Lopez any reason to slow down.

Another knockdown came late in the opening round, but Oliver managed to scramble to his feet and make it to the bell. The Connecticut native wasn’t as fortunate in the second, when Lopez once again sent him to the canvas late in the round. Oliver beat the count but was unsteady and in no condition to continue, prompting referee Roberto Ramirez, Sr. to stop the contest.

The official time was 2:32 of the second round.

Lopez advances to 31-1 (28KO) with the win, though the only improvemnt on the night was his win total. The Puerto Rican looked lethargic and defensively clueless in what served as his first win in 11 months.

Oliver falls to 25-3 (8KO), snapping a four-fight win streak against non-descript opposition.

The plan for Lopez is a possible rematch with Salido sometime in the first few months of 2012. Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum continues to dangle the carrot of a showdown with undefeated Yuriorkis Gamboa, though much of the luster from that dream matchup has been removed the moment Lopez became an ex-champion earlier this year.

What’s also unclear is where he next lands. There were talks of moving up to 130, though coming in two pounds under the featherweight limit suggests there are hardly any struggles at the scales.

The televised co-feature saw another comeback of sorts, with Roman “Rocky” Martinez returning to the ring for the first time in more than a year, when he suffered an upset loss to Ricky Burns last September. The all-action Puerto Rican came back strong, scoring three knockdowns en route to a sixth round knockout of late sub Daniel Attah.

Martinez’ name has made the news in recent weeks, as he was floated as a potential future opponent for lightweight titlist Brandon Rios. His decision to pass on that fight was the wisest of his career, as he hardly looked sharp on Saturday evening, but boasted enough power to overcome such obstacles.

Attah, who accepted the fight earlier this week as a late replacement for Ramon Maas, was dropped and nearly sent out of the ring midway through the third round. The Nigerian southpaw, who lives and fights out of Washington D.C, complained of a headbutt but to no avail as he was given an eight count.

To his credit, Attah recovered well and held his own in the next couple of rounds, before Martinez decided that he had enough ring time. A sweeping counter right hook put Attah down hard midway through the sixth. He rose to his feet, but Martinez had knockout on his mind and moved in for the finish. A flurry of punches sent Attah to the canvas once again, only for the fight to be waved off without a count.

The official time was 1:50 of the sixth round.

Martinez improves to 25-1 (16KO) with the win, his first since losing his junior lightweight belt to Burns last year. Attah falls to 26-8-1 (9KO), having lost five of his last seven contests.

In the opening bout, super bantamweight prospect Jonathan Oquendo scored a highlight reel second round knockout of Jose Luis Araiza. Oquendo dropped the struggling Mexican in the opening round and  put him down and out with a left hook, ending matters at 0:56 of the second round.

Oquendo advances to 22-1 (15KO) with the win, his seventh straight. His last loss came more than three years ago in a crossroads bout against Lopez, his promotional stablemate. Ariaza has now dropped four straight as he falls to 29-5 (20KO).

With time to kill before the main event, lightweight prospect Luis Jose Gonzalez saw unexpected screen time as he outboxed Edward Valdez over six rounds. The 22-year old Gonzalez boxed smartly and mixed it up just enough to disallow Valdez from attempting to bully him, enough to win comfortably on the scorecards by margins of 58-56 (2x) and 59-55.

Gonzalez improves to 9-0-1 (5KO). The 32-year old Valdez falls to 5-8-2 (3KO).

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by machotime on 11-24-2011

i know this is old, but Juanma has no chance to beat Salido if he fights like this... he was sloppy and was throwing wide punches. Seems like he has forgotten that he used to work behind a stiff jab…

Comment by Hex-One on 10-02-2011

[QUOTE=TintaBoricua;11240757]Apparently. And interestingly enough, I thought the same thing. They might just be happy they're going along for the ride. Juanma needs to improve himself. What I saw was Juanma with sloppy accuracy, zero defense, no combinations...his power is his…

Comment by Ringlife on 10-02-2011

I didn't watch this fight not worth my time or money so lets see the rematch now Salido vs Lopez. I see the same result happening in the rematch if Lopez hasn't worked on his defense.

Comment by ELHURACAN58 on 10-02-2011

[QUOTE=boricuajr23;11240085]Im sorry bro but JUANMA didnt look impressive to me. He looked like the usual Juanma.....Easy to counter. Slow to bring his hands back up. Oliver had enough speed to disrupt Juanma and if Oliver would've been a harder hitter...It…

Comment by Ruffus74 on 10-02-2011

What can I say, very disappointed w/ Juanma's performance last night. Same issues, drop his lt every time he throws a rt, walking to punches, relies on his power, saw it very uncoordinated. I see same result in a rematch…

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