Puerto Rico Hammers JuanMa

By Robert Ecksel on April 4, 2012
Puerto Rico Hammers JuanMa
JuanMa didn’t accuse Ramirez of being an ax murderer. He simply said Ramirez gambles.


Those who discipline and punish had best make sure their hands are clean. If they are not, or if the crime doesn’t fit the time, it throws the whole judicial shadow theater out of whack. We want our hangmen to be churchgoers who love their mothers and work in soup kitchens feeding the poor in their spare time. By our exacting standards, nothing less will do.

The Puerto Rican Professional Boxing Commission, under pressure from God knows who, has suspended Juan Manuel Lopez for a year, fined him $10,000, and demanded he perform 100 hours of community service for his intemperate remarks after being hit in the head hundreds of times.

Stunned by the loss and Orlando Salido’s fists on March 10, Lopez gracelessly grasped at straws in search of an explanation for his defeat. He was obviously rattled. For proof look no further than the fact that he thought he was winning the fight. But ringside judge Dennis Nelson, who had the fight even, must have been rattled as well. What is his excuse?

Lopez’s mistake was to allege that the referee Roberto Ramirez was a gambler in front of a worldwide TV audience. Assuming Ramirez doesn’t gamble, has never gambled, and will never gamble, and having no evidence to the contrary to think otherwise, his reaction and refusal to accept JuanMa’s apology seemed way over the top for a man innocent of the charges, especially since we know that denial if the most sincere form of admittance.

JuanMa has spoken. Roberto Ramirez has spoken. Dommys Delgado, President of the PR Commission, has spoken. Nelson Vazquez, president of the Association of Professional Boxing Officials, has spoken. WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel has spoken. Is there anyone left who hasn’t spoken? Yup, there is, and it’s Lopez’s promoter, Top Rank’s Bob Arum.

“It’s absurd,” Arum told the Examiner’s Michael Marley. “It is too severe, especially considering the remarks were made when JuanMa was concussed, when he had just been knocked out by Salido.

“I mean, maybe I could see this if those comments were made the next day or something, when the fighter’s head was clear but this was not the situation here. That’s like penalizing somebody for making these kinds of remarks when they’re drunk.”

Arum has a point, but as a lawyer he must know that remarks are remarks are remarks, whether one is stone cold sober, drunk as a skunk, or one’s facilities are compromised after having been in a fight. And those remarks, as history has shown and continues to show, can and will be used against one.

I fail to see how one man’s post-fight remarks affect boxing as a whole. He didn’t accuse Ramirez of being an ax murderer or child molester. He said Ramirez gambles. The last I looked, gambling and boxing aren’t the strangest of bedfellows. It’s more like they’re old lovers who know every dimple and blemish, every in and out, on their partner’s pristine and prostrate form.

Lastly, Antonio Margarito, who may have actually put men’s lives at risk, was also suspended for a year for his infraction. Are his and JuanMa’s offenses comparable? And if they are not, why has Puerto Rico brought down the hammer on Juan Manuel Lopez?

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  1. McGrain 03:06pm, 04/05/2012

    Agree with the thresher.  These guys are shipping punches that would put most people in hospital.  Who has control over themselves at a time like that?

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 02:14pm, 04/05/2012

    Bodyshots-Amen….at the same time take a second look at the photo above….he’s really a kid….and probably not very bright at that. I for one don’t understand why Ramirez doesn’t sue….do you?

  3. Bodyshots 10:52am, 04/05/2012

    Lopez revealed himself to be a classless jerk who became unhinged as much by his loss of pride as the presumed loss of his senses. in fact, not even Holmes or Judah ever melted down in such classless fashion and they’ve been responsible for some pretty severe and public meltdowns. bottomline, being concussed is no excuse for deliberately trying to ruin the career of the first bystander or rescuer that comes to mind. Lopez should be grateful for the time off during which he should reflect, retool, and prepare to rebuild his shatterred profile with ring performances not bitter accusations.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 09:31am, 04/04/2012

    It appears that his greatest crime, even though he fought his heart out, just may have been getting KO’d twice by Salido in high profile showdown fights at home in Puerto Rico.

  5. the thresher 08:22am, 04/04/2012

    Pure bullshit. The kid was in no condition to be interviewed, particularly by a shark like Gray.

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