By Jhonny Gonzalez
WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez (30-0, 27KOs) is not listening to the critics who believe his next defense of the title is a walk in the park. On April 16 at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Juanma will defend the title against former champion Orlando Salido (34-11, 22KOs) of Mexico.
Salido has not been stopped in over ten years. He suffered several early knockout defeats when he was mismatched as a young prospect against far more experienced opponents. As he grew in the ranks and gained experience, he fought hard in distance fights with Robert Guerrero, Juan Manuel Marquez and Yuriorkis Gamboa. He knocked out Rogers Mtagwa in five rounds. Mtagwa was on the verge of a Juanma upset in 2009.
"This fight is against a great fighter. On his record are 11 defeats, but he lost by decision to Juan Manuel Marquez and he lost by unanimous decision to Yuriorkis Gamboa. This guy knocked out Rogers Mtagwa in five rounds. He's difficult and dangerous. Salido is a guy who throws a lot of punches, so I expect a war," Juanma said. "Either by decision or by knockout, I will definitely win. It will be a great fight, but Puerto Rico will celebrate that day because we will win."