Advertisement
Advertisement

Juanma Sees Vargas, Every Future Fight as 'Do or Die'

By Mark Whicker

A moving pile of hangers-on obscured Erislandy Lara after he left his public workout in the MGM Grand lobby Wednesday.

Didn't that used to be Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez?

Instead, yesterday's next-great-fighter did his run-throughto minimal applause, as the crowd chanted Lara's name and waited for the arrival of Canelo Alvarez, who meets Lara in the main event Saturday.

Lopez will be fighting Francisco Vargas for two secondary lightweight belts on the undercard.

The 31-year-old Lopez was Top Rank's shining light until he lost twice to Orlando Salido. Then he was taken apart by Mikey Garcia last June.

The Puerto Rican admitted Wednesday that he thought about retiring. But in March he knocked out Daniel Ponce de Leon in the second round.

 Is it a comeback or a last stand?

"I know I can't lose any fights," said Lopez. "But I'm too experienced to feel a lot of pressure. In my country we talk about bringing two bags to every fight. You know you're either going to win or lose. I think I'm more of a mature person now."

Lopez's restart should be more comfortable at 130 pounds. He strained to make 126 for the Garcia fight, and then Garcia failed to make weight, which Lopez called "unprofessional."

"I just think that when you're young and a lot is expected of you, you don't always know how to handle it," said Pete Rivera, Lopez's promoter. "Sometimes you go to another level and you forget your roots. He's definitely working harder than he did earlier in his career. "

If Lopez gets past Vargas, who is 19-0-1 with 13 knockouts, Rivera sees a way his man can come full circle.

He foresees Lopez winning Saturday and then waiting on WBO champion Garcia does. Garcia has nothing scheduled at the moment as he files suit against Top Rank. Even when he comes back he is likely to move up in weight.

"Salido is No. 2 and JuanMa is No. 4," Rivera said. "So maybe they can fight for a third time."

Then again, we've already seen what happens when Lopez gets ahead of himself.

Mark Whicker has been a sports columnist in Southern California for 27 years.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by jtcs1981 on 07-10-2014

[QUOTE=lopez36;14741731]i always thought juanma was an arroant,****y fighter until salido took that away from him,but i'm going for him in this fight,his only problem and this has always been the case from 122,126 and I bet it will happen again…

Comment by Corelone on 07-10-2014

[QUOTE=Aztekkas;14742102]Mark Davis had no power and had fought below C level opposition. Vargas has a high work rate and decent power, plus an Olympic pedigree that can help him against plodding JuanMa. I know Lopez can KO anyone at any…

Comment by Aztekkas on 07-10-2014

[QUOTE=Corelone;14741892]Juanma is the underdog, he was brought in to showcase Vargas. I know why he was chosen and I'm still willing to give Juanma a shot. He didn't lose to Willy LumpLump, he lost to a couple of monsters. Vargas…

Comment by Corelone on 07-09-2014

[QUOTE=Dinamita 03;14741791]I'm not discounting Juanma at all I'm really looking forward to this fight. I just can't get over how bad he looked against Garcia where his footwork and balance was all over the place. I still think Vargas will…

Comment by Dinamita 03 on 07-09-2014

[QUOTE=Corelone;14741733]A few losses can make a guy smart and mean, defeated, but not decayed. I'm betting Juanma learned more in those three losses than Vargas has in his 19 wins. This sounds like a good fight to me at 130.[/QUOTE]…

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (12)
Top Headlines Wilder vs. Povetkin Undercard Coming Together: Bivol, Ochigava Roach: I Want Tapia To Be Smart, Box Lemieux All Fight Khan: Mayweather is Bitter, Everyone Talking About Me, Canelo Jack-Bute, DeGale-Medina: Ratings For Showtime Double Amir Khan expects Canelo to weigh 175 on fight night Sadam Ali Return Likely For Vargas-Salido Bill Korobov vs. Vera Clash Set For Alvarado-Torres Card Khan: I Think Fury, Haye Beat Joshua at The Moment Stephen Smith Added To Bellew-Makabu Undercard Stevens breaks down Canelo-Khan and the Caneloweight Hunter: If I Had Khan at 9, We Wouldn't Be Talking Mayweather Video: Chisora vs. Pulev Heated Confrontation at Presser Video: Amir Khan on Floyd Mayweather's Comeback, Canelo Photos: Tony Bellew vs. Ilunga Makabu Press Conference Photos: Chisora, Pulev Erupts With Near Brawl at Presser IBF Formally Orders Wake vs. Guzman 122-Pound Title Fight Barroso's Promoter: I'm Supremely Confident Crolla Will Be KO'd DeGale Wants Jack Fight in U.K., But Open to Las Vegas Shannon Briggs To Face Dimitrenko On 'Haye Day' Bill Shawn Porter: 'Wouldn’t Be Surprised' If Khan Upsets Canelo Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto II: Post-Fight Report Card John Fury: Tyson Knocks Wladimir Klitschko Out By Round 10 Canelo vs. Khan - British Trade People Predict The Fight George Foreman Warns: If Canelo Overconfident, Khan Can Win Trainer: Tyson Fury Will NOT Retire, Likely Targets Joshua Next Khan Would Reject Mayweather: I'll Mess With Him Like He Did Me Sanchez: I'm Confident Golovkin KO's 'Diva' Canelo in 8 or 9 Luis Ortiz Back on Track After Greg Cohen Withdraws Lawsuit Flint-born Dirrell Brothers Fighting Through Anger, Frustration Bob Arum: It's Obvious Floyd Mayweather is Coming Back De La Hoya: Golovkin Didn't Want Lara - And Canelo Beat Him! Gilberto Ramirez-Dominik Britsch on Crawford-Postol HBO PPV De La Hoya: I Thought Pacquiao Would Be Easy, Canelo in Tough! Gassiev Warns Povetkin: Wilder Punches Harder Than Klitschko Verdejo Not Worried About Critics, Intends To Fulfill Expectations Freddie Roach Says Frankie Gomez in 'Best Shape' For Herrera Amir Khan Stands To Pocket 13 Million in Canelo Showdown Brown on PBC: We're Giving Fans What They Want and Expect Examining the Badou Jack-Lucian Bute Scorecards Anthony Joshua-Zhang Zhilei Eyed For The Future in China?
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement