By Rey Colon
Former two-division champion Juan Manuel Lopez is facing a possible suspension until September 2013, according to several sources. The fighter's troubles began earlier this month when he labeled referee Roberto Ramirez Sr. as "a gambler." The allegation came after Lopez was stopped in the tenth round by WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido. Lopez, angry over the stoppage, told a live television audience that Ramirez's gambling habit was a possible influence for the referee's decision to stop the contest.
Last week, Lopez appeared before a hearing officer who was appointed by the Puerto Rico Boxing Commission. During he hearing, Lopez apologized to the referee and came clean that he didn't have any evidence of Ramirez being a gambler.
After the knockout loss, Lopez (31-2, 28 KO's) was automatically suspended for 90 days by the Medical Commission. According to sources, Lopez admitted during last weeke's hearing l that he suffered three episodes of amnesia, with one of those spells occuring during the bout with Bernabe Concepcion and the other two occuring against Salido. Because of that admission, the doctors are raising his medical suspension for another 90 days - which now expires on September 10.
Based on last week's hearing, the appointed hearing officer, Alberto Arroyo, sent a report to the Boxing Commission of Puerto Rico. Within his report, he made several recommendations regarding Lopez's punishment for the Ramirez incident. Those punishments include a $10,000 fine, 100 hours of community work and a one-year suspension to go in affect when the medical suspension expires. The commission will now decide on the final punishment and Lopez does have the option of appealing their decision.