By Jhonny Gonzalez
WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez is less than a month away from making a defense of his title against Bernabe Concepcion on July 10 in Puerto Rico. Lopez is a big favorite to win and although there is already a tentative fight scheduled against Rafael Marquez on September 18, he is not overlooking the challenge of Concepcion, who Lopez described as a "hungry" fighter with power.
"His style is difficult because you don't know what kind of punches he will throw. He's strong. He's only 22-years-old, even younger than me, and he has the desire to win," Lopez told El Nuevo Dia.
Lopez is using super bantamweight Jonathan Oquendo in camp. Oquendo will fight Eden Sonsona on the undercard of Lopez-Concepcion. They are countrymen who were former foes. Lopez knocked Oquendo out in February 2008 in three rounds. Oquendo has won four in a row since the loss.
"He is going to fight a southpaw and I'm facing a right-handed boxer, and we're helping each other on both ends. I don't have the slightest doubt that [Oquendo] is going to be a champion at some point," said Lopez.
Lopez is already very close to the weight limit. He put himself on a strict diet and says there are no weight issues as the fight draws close.
"Right now we are at 133-pounds, and yesterday we left the gym at 131, five pounds above weight. We are more than good, without starving ourselves. We are on a good diet," Lopez said.