By Ryan Burton
Former 2-division champion Juan Manuel Lopez (32-2, 29KOs) returned to the ring on February 2nd after an 11 month layoff and knocked out Aldimar Silva Santos in the 9th round of their super featherweight contest. On a recent edition of The Boxing Lab, BoxingScene's official audio show, Juanma told us that he was satisfied with his performance and glad that he was able to get 9 rounds in.
"I was in great shape. My corner was giving me instructions round by round and we were looking for the knockout and thankfully we got in the 9th round.
"It (The 9 rounds) was something that I needed. Even one more fight like this would be good for me to get ready. If a big fight is in the works for my next fight we will be ready to go but one more like this would probably be the best," Lopez explained.
Lopez said that he felt good fighting at the 128 pound limit that was set for the fight and that is should be easier for him to make weight in his next fight since he won't be dealing with such a long layoff again.
"We went a long time without a fight and we had to lose a lot of weight to get down to 128 so it should be better in the next fight," Lopez stated.
The Puerto Rican fighter made it clear that his days fighting in the featherweight division are long gone and that the move up in weight is a permanent move. He did however say that for the right fights he is willing to fight again at a 128 pound catchweight but that is the absolute lowest weight that he can fight at.
"I am going to fight at 130 and I am ready for the big names there but if the guys at featherweight like Mikey Garcia and Nonito Donaire want to fight we can fight at 128. I can't make it down to 126 anymore. 128 is as low as I can go," Lopez told us on The Boxing Lab.
You can listen to the interview in its entirety by clicking here: http://tobtr.com/s/4267101
Send questions or comments to [email protected] Follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter and tune in to The Boxing Lab, BoxingScene's official audio on Tuesdays. The show is hosted by Ernie Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan Burton