Former WBO featherweight titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez scored two knockdowns over fellow southpaw Mike Oliver in the first round and another in the second before referee Robert Ramirez waved an end to the bout at the 2:32 mark, giving the partisan fans at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico exactly what they wanted Saturday night.
The 28-year-old Lopez (31-1, 28 KOs) had an easy time with the 31-year-old Oliver (25-3, 8 KOs), who had won four straight fights since losing by third-round knockout to both Reynaldo Lopez and Antonio Escalante in May and October of 2008, respectively.
The win represents a comeback for Lopez after losing his title to Orlando Salido (36-11-2, 24 KOs) of Mexico in his last fight.
Lopez spoke to RingTV.com from ringside through Top Rank Inc. translator Ricardo Jiminez.
“I knew when I knocked [Oliver] down with the jab that I was a lot stronger, so that’s when I just decided to go after him with both hands,” said Lopez, whose loss to Salido also took place at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez.
“The crowd was great. I feel very happy. We wanted to get a quick win, and that’s what we were able to do tonight.”
A proposed fall rematch between Salido and Lopez was pushed back and will likely take place in January or February, if not the first quarter of next year.
Salido, who is coming off an 11-round knockout of Japan’s Kenichi Yamaguchi last month, could take a bout either in October or November.
“I just want to win a world championship, you know? I just want to fight for a title in my next fight,” said Lopez. “Obviously, I would like for that to be against Salido, but whoever my promotional company decides, that’s who I’ll fight. It doesn’t matter who it is.”
In an undercard bout, junior lightweight Roman “Rocky” Martinez (25-1-1, 16 KOs) scored one knockdown in the third, and two more in the sixth and final round of his knockout over Nigerian southpaw Daniel Attah (26-8-1, 9 KOs) of Washington, D.C.
Martinez has been mentioned along with Kevin Mitchell (32-1, 24 KOs) of England or John Molina (23-1, 19 KOs) of California as potential rivals for WBA lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios (28-0-1, 21 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif.
Martinez appears to have indicated that he will not accept the challenge if chosen to face Rios, who will be after his 11th straight win on the HBO Pay Per View-televised undercard of Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito on Dec. 3.
Martinez was coming off of a unanimous decision loss to then-WBO junior lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns (39-2, 9 KOs) of Scotland in September of last year.
Burns is riding a 17-fight winning streak and has since elected to rise into the lightweight ranks.
In an earlier matchup, junior featherweight Jonathan Oquendo (22-2, 15 KOs) scored a second-round knockout over Jose Luis Araiza (29-5, 20 KOs).
Oquendo scored his eighth consecutive win, and fourth consecutive stoppage since being knocked out himself by Lopez in February of 2008.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org