Former super bantamweight and featherweight titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez is hoping to return to the ring in November, following his Fight of the Year candidate loss to Orlando Salido in March, and may be moving up in weight to 130 pounds, according to Ryan Burton of BoxingScene.com:
"My team and I are going to talk that over soon. It would be a lot easier to make weight at 130 but if the right fight presents itself then I definitely have to look at going back down to 126," said JuanMa.
Lopez (31-2, 28 KO) may never reach the heights some felt he was capable of earlier in his career, but he's also a two-division titlist who beat real fighters (Daniel Ponce De Leon and Steven Luevano) and not bums to win his belts, and his only losses have come to a guy who just seems to have his number -- in two excellent fights, no less.
To me, the 28-year-old Puerto Rican takes too much fan/media guff for what he's not -- and no, he is not a great fighter -- and doesn't receive nearly enough love for what he arguably truly is: The premier action fighter in the sport today, a reckless, gutsy, heavy-handed, foolish warrior who would make Arturo Gatti proud.
Personally, I can't wait to see him back in action. I don't know how long he's going to last as a notable fighter, because he takes a lot of clean shots, and all I hope is that he stays entertaining to watch for a while longer. And he should.
I would guess the move to 130 is probably smart, too. I think JuanMa could get himself back on track up there, still having great fights, and he wouldn't be in the middle of the pack of what is a really good division like featherweight, where I just don't think he can beat the top guys. Again, he'll never be great. But he'll always be worth watching.