Juan Manuel Lopez to fight in Mexico
Puerto Rican star Juan Manuel Lopez, a former featherweight and junior featherweight titlist, will continue his comeback on April 20 in Mexico City.
Lopez (32-2, 29 KOs) will face William Prado (20-3-1, 13 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round fight at a maximum weight of 128 pounds, co-promoter Peter Rivera of PR Best Boxing announced on Monday.
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The fight will take place on the undercard of the previously announced bout between Mexican junior featherweight contenders Victor Terrazas (36-2-1, 21 KOs) and Cristian Mijares (47-6-2, 22 KOs), who will meet for a 122-pound world title recently vacated by Abner Mares, who is moving up in weight.
On Feb. 2 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Lopez knocked out Brazil's Aldimar Silva Santos in the ninth round. The fight was Lopez's first since March 2012, when he was knocked out in the 10th round by Orlando Salido in their featherweight world title rematch.
During Lopez's television interview moments after the bout -- and still seemingly in a daze from being knocked out -- he accused the referee of stopping the fight because he had placed a bet on the match.
Although Lopez later apologized, the Puerto Rican boxing commission suspended Lopez for a year and fined him $10,000.
It lifted the suspension a little early, allowing Lopez to return for his fight in February.
"We want to keep Juanma in action and now we are going to put him in this show in Mexico, hoping for a win to fight him again in the summer in a big fight," Rivera said.
If Lopez wins, he could get a shot at featherweight titlist Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) this summer. That is a fight that Top Rank, which promotes Garcia and co-promotes Lopez, has said it wants to make.
"As [with the fight] in February, we have kept training, we are working on some things and [making] adjustments to look better in this fight in Mexico," said Lopez, adding that he was preparing to fight in the high altitude of Mexico City. "About Prado, I just know that he is a fighter with a good record who has never been knocked out."
Rivera is also putting two of his top prospects in scheduled 10-rounders on the Zanfer-promoted card, Puerto Rican twins McWilliams and McJoe Arroyo.
McJoe Arroyo (12-0, 7 KOs) will face former junior bantamweight titlist Rodrigo Guerrero (18-4-1, 12 KOs) in a junior bantamweight bout and McWilliams Arroyo (14-1, 12 KOs) will face former flyweight titleholder Julio Cesar "Pingo" Miranda (37-8-1, 29 KOs) in a flyweight bout.
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