By Rick Reeno
On March 15th at the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum in Bayamon, Puerto Rico - a crossroads rematch will take place between former champions Daniel Ponce De Leon (45-5, 35KOs) of Mexico and Juan Manuel Lopez (33-3, 30KOs) of Puerto Rico.
The fight will be televised as part of a Showtime televised tripleheader, with Danny Garcia appearing in the main event as he defends his WBO/WBC junior welterweight titles against Mauricio Herrera.
In 2008, Lopez captured his first world title with a shocking first round TKO of Ponce De Leon to capture the WBO super bantamweight crown at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The win jump-started the career of Lopez with HBO.
Lopez has gone 3-3 in his last six fights, with two TKO defeats to Orlando Salido and a knockout loss in his last fight against rising star Mikey Garcia in June of last year. Ponce De Leon is one fight removed from a TKO defeat to Abner Mares.
"Another fight with theme of Mexico vs. Puerto Rico. Ponce wants to set the record straight, to avenge his defeat to Juanma and he wants to do it in Juanma's hometown of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. This is going to be another fireworks fight," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
Frank Espinoza, who manages Ponce De Leon, says the rematch is a long time coming.
"That loss has been a thorn in Ponce's side for a long time. He really wants to make things right. He thinks Juanma landed a miracle punch. I've never seen him this eager in a very long. He's wanted Juanma for years and he didn't care where the fight was going to take place. It could have happened in the middle of Sunset Park in Brooklyn. I believe Ponce will be very, very prepared for this fight. Ponce want to return the favor, with a knockout of his own. This is going to be the end of the road for Juanma, I just feel bad it's going to happen in his hometown," Espinoza told BoxingScene.com.