Chat with Juan Manuel Lopez
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, we're going inside the boxing ring when Juan Manuel Lopez stops by to chat about his title fight this weekend.
Lopez (33-2, 30 KO) takes on Mikey Garcia (31-0, 26 KO) for Garcia's WBO featherweight belt. American Airlines Center in Dallas hosts the fight Saturday at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT on HBO Boxing After Dark.
Lopez is coming off two straight wins via KO, both coming earlier this year, one in February and one in April. A native of Puerto Rico, Lopez fought for his country in several international competitions, including the 2004 Olympics.
Send your questions now and join Lopez Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:00 PM)
Juan Manuel is here!
Juanma, Mikey is a great technical boxer and counterpuncher. Do you plan on trying to drag him into a war like you've done in a lot of past fights, so that he can't sit back and try to counter you? Good luck this weekend, and God Bless.
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:01 PM)
Obviously, I'm also a counterpuncher at heart, so it will be hard for us both to be counterpunchers. So I will have to try to press him and get him tired.
How long wa syour training camp for this fight? How do yoyu think it went?
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:02 PM)
I really started fighting for the February fight in October and then had the fight in April. I maybe took a week off and started getting ready for this fight. I've been training for it all year.
JuanMa; big fan! Do you feel like after you beat Garcia you will be in the title picture?
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:03 PM)
If I am successful, I plan on maybe defending the title one more time. Maybe I then go on to 130.
how are you feeling heading into this fight?
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:04 PM)
I feel really good. I feel really good about this fight. Conditioning wise I feel great. I am ready for this fight.
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:05 PM)
I feel like the fans have given me the respect that I deserve. I get treated like a champion by my company and the fans. I feel like I do get respect.
what will be the key for you to win on Saturday?
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:06 PM)
The key is just pressure, pressure. Making him fight my fight. And the key will be having the condition to do it for 12 rounds.
Mauricio Vega Estades (Carolina)
Did you try anything special or different in this training camp, regarding your defensive skills?
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:07 PM)
I'm going to be the same exciting fighter. I'm going to be smarter. I brought Freddie Trinidad to my camp. He helped me with my defense.
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:07 PM)
But I'll be the same exciting fighter.
Whos Your Picks in MalinaggiVsBronner & MayweatherVsCanelo?
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:08 PM)
I think Mayweather will win the fight because of his experience. He has a lot of big fights. Canelo will give him a tough fight, but he'll win.
I remember the first time I ever saw you fight, you blitzed Ponce de Leon with 3 quick knockdowns and a 1st round KO. In hindsight, do you think that was your most impressive performance to date, since Ponce is such a tough, experienced fighter? If not, what was the performance you were most proud of?
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:09 PM)
I think it was a real quick fight, so I wouldn't put it there as my most impressive win. I think Marquez was more impressive.
Ron (Tucson) [via mobile]
Juan. Do you feel you have unfinished business with Orlando Salido? Do you think you'll fight him ever again?
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:10 PM)
I think that the Salido stuff is done with. I think the only reason I'd go back is if the company or someone else wanted to see it. Otherwise I think we're done with him.
What is it about boxing that you love?
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:11 PM)
I love the passion. I love that everything boxing brings into the ring. I'm motivated by the fact that I want more championships. I want to be a four division champion. That's what's motivating to me, being a champion in other weights.
How high in weight class do you think you can go?
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:12 PM)
I think I can go to 135, but it would be at the end of my career. Not to many fights there, but 135 would be my max.
what's your walking around weight? How close do you stay to it inbetween fights?
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:13 PM)
If I don't take care of myself and I'm not doing something, I'll get heavy. 150 is about as high as I get when I start having to get down to weight.
Juan Manuel Lopez (1:14 PM)
I hope that everyone will watch the fight and everyone will come to the fight. I think this will be a great fight, one for the fans, one they will enjoy and remember for a long time.