Mikey Garcia Stops Juanma Lopez
Former WBO featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs) had more trouble making weight than he had with Juan Manuel Lopez (33-3, 30 KOs)...
Saturday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, former WBO featherweight champion Mike Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs) had more trouble making weight than he had with Juan Manuel Lopez (33-3, 30 KOs).
Despite wishful thinking that the fight would be competitive, seasoned observers saw it as a foregone conclusion that Garcia would defeat Lopez. But few expected, neither the greenhorns still wet behind the ears nor the old hands on their last legs, that it would end in round four with Juanma, having been dropped a second time, stumbling around the ring like a drunken sailor.
The 25-year-old Garcia, fighting out of the red corner in black trunks trimmed in blue, was as composed and efficient as possible.
Lopez, fighting out of the blue corner in black trunks with silver and gold trim, is only 29, but he’s an old 29, and Saturday’s fight in Dallas may have aged him even further.
The first was a feeling out round and Juanma more or less held his own. He was busier than Garcia. He was pressing forward, forcing the action, but eating more punches than he was dishing out.
Between rounds Robert Garcia, Mikey’s cornerman, told him, “Keep the jab in his face. Don’t throw a lazy jab.”
“Loosen up a bit,” advised Juanma’s corner. “Move your torso so you’re not an easy target.”
Garcia took control of the fight in round two. He was relaxed. He was letting it flow. Mikey caught Lopez with a hard right that dropped him to the canvas. Juanma got to his feet and beat the count. No question that he has heart. Chin is another matter.
Robert Garcia told Mikey between rounds two and three, “Let him make mistakes and go catch him, just like you did just there.”
Lopez began busting up in round three. He had no head movement. His legs were gone. His balance was betraying him. Juanma was walking straight into shots. Garcia, who had been content to counter in the first two rounds, let his hands go in the third. He was boxing beautifully, punching with precision, and there wasn’t a damn thing Juanma could do about it.
Garcia was in the zone in the fourth and final round. Lopez was getting battered. He was leaning into punches, almost begging Mikey to keep hitting him. The Fighting Pride of Oxnard was happy to oblige and put Lopez down for the second time with picture perfect left hook. Juanma again climbed to his feet, but he was in no condition to continue. Referee Rafael Ramos called a halt to the action at 1:35. It was over. The better man won.
After the bout, Mikey Garcia was shown the second and fourth round knockdowns on videotape.
“Right before that punch I heard my brother yell, ‘Counter his left with your straight right,’ and I landed a perfect right hand that actually hurt him. The left hook at the end just put him down. But it was the right hand that really hurt him and it wasn’t able to continue and that was it.”
It might be over for Juan Manuel Lopez, but Mikey Garcia is just getting started.