122-pound titlist Juan Manuel Lopez is fresh off of a win over unknown challenger Olivier Lontchi, a fight that was forced into Top Rank PPV because no network was going to buy it. With rugged, unthreatening veteran gatekeeper Rogers Mtagwa scheduled as his next opponent, Lopez isn't happy.
Lopez-Mtagwa will be another Latin Fury PPV in October from MSG Theater in New York, and the titleholder said, "This is what happens when the opponents you want don't want to fight at 122 pounds." He mentioned that both Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez have moved up to 126, but then he says that Celestino Caballero isn't worth the money thanks to the many sanctioning fees he'd have to pay. He then says "It's better for me to keep fighting opponents ranked by the WBO."
So in essence, Lopez is saying, "I want to fight the best, just not that guy, the guy who's the best opponent out there for me in my weight class."
Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com reports that Caballero, the fellow titleholder, came back with a response. In the response, Caballero offered to pay all of the sanctioning fees, which is B.S. obviously, but it's a good line.
Past Caballero, no, there isn't a whole lot at 122 pounds. The way to get a big fight is pretty simple: Fight Caballero and stop letting asinine fights like the Mtagwa spectacle get signed, or move up to 126 pounds, which is the destination anyway. Bob Arum is making no secret of his desire to match Lopez with Yuriorkis Gamboa down the road, and there are better fights to be made at featherweight, or at least more of them.