San Juan, PR - Faced with one of the most significant challenges of his career, world ranked contender Jayson 'La Maravilla' Velez (26-5-1, 18KO's) made an important decision for his upcoming clash against Orlando 'El Fenómeno' Cruz (25 -6-2, 13KO's), which will be held this Saturday, September 22 at the Rafael G. Amalbert de Juncos Coliseum.
Velez made a decision to add to his team the former double world champion, Juan Manuel 'Juanma' López.
"I am very happy to have 'Juanma' in my corner," said Velez, who trains under the instructions of William Cruz.
"It is something very important, since he is a man with a lot of experience worldwide. He was twice world champion, starring in memorable battles. It really is an honor. Here among us, he is an expert with hand wraps, and will have the responsibility of taking care of my fists. Additionally, he will be like 'cutman', which is another job that he performs perfectly. This Saturday I will have a corner of excellence with William Cruz, 'Juanma' López, Abner Ramos and Ely Montañez. "
Last March in Guaynabo, Velez won a resounding knockout victory in 12 rounds against Lopez, a fight that has been considered one of the most exciting of the year in Puerto Rico. From that duel a friendship was born, and it's been described as 'perfect chemistry'.
"Although I'm still active as a boxer, I've started working as a coach with several boxers," said Lopez.
"I've had a 26 year career in boxing, including when I started as an amateur. That experience that I have acquired in so many years is what I want to convey to all these young and veteran fighters who ask for my help. On Saturday in Juncos I will have the privilege of 'debutar', as one says, as a coach. I will go up to my pupil Jean Carlos Cabral and I will be in the corner of Jayson in his match against 'Phenomenon'. I appreciate William Cruz for valuing my career in boxing. We have developed a perfect chemistry. We understand each other and we work hand in hand in an excellent way. This Saturday in Juncos will be a very special night."
Lopez, who will return to the ring on November 10 in Miami, is convinced that Velez will not only be victorious this Saturday in Juncos, but will do so by fast track.
"Orlando Cruz is a great fighter, whom I considered my friend, and I say that I considered him as such because a friend does not make fun of another friend," he said.
"He says that Jayson Vélez has not fought with anyone, that means that I'm nobody for him. He also said that I speak in curcivo, trying to mock me, but he is well misplaced. I am a fighter with much more renown than him and I have been a world champion twice of a recognized sanctioning body, unlike him. This September 22nd, all of this experience that I have is going to be transmitted to Jayson so he can achieve a convincing victory. Not only win, but win by knockout. I have no doubt, Jayson Vélez will be knocking out Orlando Cruz in nine or ten rounds."