by Ronnie Nathanielsz
In what is certain to be a war, WBO International featherweight champion Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista (35-2, 25 KO'a) is being lined up for a fight with former world champion Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez of Puerto Rico.
BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard learned that ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer discussed the fight with WBO president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel during the 25th Annual Convention of the WBO in Florida. Puerto Rico Bext Boxing, who co-promote Juanma, told the WBO that he might return in December.
Aldeguer reportedly wants to stage the fight in Manila buoyed by the initial success of the "Pinoy Pride XVII" fight card at the plush Mall of Asia Arena along R and alsooxas Boulevard in which the fight of the night was clearly the twelve round, action-packed battle between Bautista and big, hard-hitting Mexican Daniel Ruiz who was three pounds over the limit at the official weigh-in and came in much heavier at fight time.
Bautista never backed off and engaged the tough Mexican in several furious exchanges to win a well-deserved split decision.
It was the 26 year old Bautista's eighth win since dropping an eight round decision to Heriberto Ruiz on November 22, 2008 after which he underwent surgery for a rotten bone in his left wrist which caused considerable pain and cramped his style. and also had problems with his shoulder and ankle.
One of Bautista's eight wins was a comfortable 7th round technical decision in a rematch against Ruiz on June 11 last year when Bautista suffered a nasty cut on his right eyebrow following an accidental clash of heads.
He had earlier suffered a cut on the corner of his right eye in round 3 and a bloody scalp wound in round 5 also caused by accidental head-butts.
The 29 year old Juanma"Lopez has a record of 31-2 with 28 knockouts with both losses inflicted by Mexico's Orlando Salido who won the WBO featherweight title with an 8th round TKO on April 16, 2011 and repeated the feat with a 10th round TKO on March 10, this year.
Lopez won the title with a 7th round TKO over Steve Luevano on Kanuary 23, 2010 and counts a 2nd round TKO over Filipino Bernabe Concepcion in Puerto Rico on July 10, 2010 after being dropped by Concepcion in the dying seconds of the opening round.