By Ryan Burton
Juan Manuel Lopez is looking to return to the ring in early 2012. On October 1st Lopez returned to the winner's column by blowing out Mike Oliver in two rounds. The former two division champion has heard his name mentioned with many potential opponents but doesn't think two of them are very realistic. JuanMa doesn't see himself facing bantamweight king Nonito Donaire or WBO junior featherweight champion Jorge Arce. If JuanMa gets his wish his next fight will be a rematch against Orlando Salido.
"I don't think a fight versus (Jorge) Arce or Nonito Donaire will happen. I am concentrating on the Salido fight," JuanMa told Boxingscene.com
A super bout between Lopez and Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa had been in the works for over a year before Lopez was knocked out by Salido in April. Even though the fight has lost some of its luster, Lopez still wants the fight and believes it will happen.
"Gamboa is a fight I want. It is a fight he wants and a fight the public wants. I know I really like that fight and I am sure it will happen," said Lopez.
Lopez finished up our conversation by giving his take on fellow Boricua Miguel Cotto's upcoming rematch against Antonio Margarito. The fight takes place on December 3rd in New York. While Juanma thinks Cotto will win, he doesn't think it will be easy.
"I think Cotto will win. He needs to be in great condition. He needs to use his conditioning, speed and movement. Margarito will be stronger at 154 and it is a tough fight but I think Cotto will prevail," opined Lopez. 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.