By Jhonny Gonzalez
Puerto Rico's Juan Manuel Lopez nearly had a planned rematch go down the drain. The boxer is scheduled to face WBO featherweight champion Orlando "Siri" Salido in the first quarter of 2012. Last Saturday in Mexico, Salido (37-11-2, 25 KO) fought lightly regarded Weng Haya (14-5, 8 KO) in a ten round non-title bout. In the third round, Salido was badly hurt and went down after a counter left hand on the chin. Another straight shot in the fourth would put him down for a second time. Salido had to battle back in the later rounds to stop Haya in the eight.
"I have not seen the full fight. I saw some videos on Youtube, but from what I saw, I think what happened was that Salido was overconfident. He was in front of his people and came forward and wasn't looking and got caught. But he got through the storm and, in general, I think he looked good and I'm glad he won because now he has to face me next," Juanma told Les Jiminez.
Lopez was stopped by Salido in eight rounds on April 16th in Puerto Rico.
"From what little I saw, I noticed that he was in better shape than the last fight (against Kenichi Yamaguchi in July). He looked to be prepared. In short, he made a great fight," said Juanma.