By Miguel Rivera
They first met five and a half years ago, and Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez stopped Daniel Ponce De Leon in the first round to capture the WBO super bantamweight title. On March 15th in Bayamon, Puerto Rico - Lopez (33-3, 30 KOs) and Ponce De Leon (45-5, 35 KOs) will collide for a second time at the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum. When Juanma defeated Ponce, it created a new rising star. If he loses next month, even he admits his career could be over. Showtime will televise the contest.
"This is the biggest fight of my career, even more so than [the fights with] Rafael Marquez or Mikey [Garcia]. I need to win this fight for my career. I've always said that [my win over him] was not luck. But honestly I do not think something like that will happen again. This time I have to be quick. The loser of this fight will have to seriously think about what he wants to do with the rest of his life," said Juanma to Jose Sanchez.
Juanma will not have Pedro Diaz in his corner. He will instead be training under Freddy Trinidad and Orlando Pinero. José 'Kiko' Lorenzo has been hired to handle his diet and Carlos Rivera Agosto will assist with strength and conditioning.