On Saturday night Juan Manuel Lopez will face the man who claimed his WBO featherweight title with a devastating eighth-round knockout in his native Puerto Rico. He will also face the fans who saw the upset unfold last April at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon.
This time, Lopez (31-1, 28 knockouts) will face Orlando Salido (37-11-2, 25 KOs) at Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan in yet another Showtime-televised clash.
Lopez partially blamed the loss to Salido on distractions created by his divorce from Barbara DeJesus, the mother of his five children, which had weighed on him emotionally. Lopez bounced back with second-round KO over fellow southpaw Mike Oliver last October.
Salido, meanwhile, is after his fourth consecutive stoppage victory, having fought twice since meeting Lopez to score late knockouts over Kenichi Yamaguchi and Weng Haya.
Who is going to win?
RingTV.com broached the subject with 15 boxing aficionados, the results of which are below.
Juan Manuel Lopez late-round KO Orlando Salido: The fight is going to be very close and I see Orlando Salido taking the early rounds and possibly even dropping Juan Manuel Lopez.
But Lopez will be in better shape and more focused, and will weather the storm this time and overwhelm Saildo late to end matters.
Juan Manuel Lopez W 12 Orlando Salido: This is like boxer versus puncher. I see Orlando Salido as more of the two-handed puncher, and that Juan Manuel Lopez is a bit more skillful as a boxer. Salido got to him last time. But I think that Lopez will have learned from the last fight.
I think that his jab will be the key to the fight. I think that Lopez may have some torrid moments against Salido, but I think that he will just nick the rounds and pull off the decision.
Juan Manuel Lopez W 12 Orlando Salido: I think a better conditioned, more focused and motivated Juan Manuel Lopez keeps Orlido Salido at the end of his jab and uses constant lateral movement to neutralize some of the Mexican’s pressure and power punching.
Salido will still connect and occasionally rock Lopez. He’s an aggressive, two-fisted boxer-puncher with great experience. But I think Lopez will also get his licks in, and may hurt or drop the defending titleholder.
The middle rounds should be good. The late rounds will be dramatic. I expect Salido to finish stronger, but Lopez will hold on for the points win.