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Showtime Dates: Ward-Dirrell, Lopez-Concepcion

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Juan Manuel Lopez will defend his featherweight title for the first time on July 10. Showtime is likely to televise.
Juan Manuel Lopez will defend his featherweight title for the first time on July 10. Showtime is likely to televise.

Showtime is working on finalizing two dates for fights later this year, one this summer and one this fall.

First, Juan Manuel Lopez will likely jump over to Showtime for a title defense against Bernabe Concepcion. This fight isn't really a big one, as Lopez will be a massive favorite. Not that Concepcion isn't a legitimate enough challenger, but he's not in Lopez's class. The fight will be on July 10 in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. After that, says Lopez's manager, he's hoping to fight the Vazquez-Marquez IV winner later this year. Don't be surprised if HBO "steals" that one, given that HBO is the network that has put time and effort (and money) into helping Top Rank develop a Lopez-Yuriorkis Gamboa fight, and Lopez against the Vazquez-Marquez winner is about as big a fight as there's going to be at 126 anytime soon.

The Super Six clash between Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell is tentatively set for September 25. The promoters (Gary Shaw and Dan Goossen) are still arguing over the venue, but I'm sure that'll be settled relatively painlessly. As we all discussed the other day, there are plenty of options. Ward still has his June 19 fight with Allan Green to come, and would be returning in just over three months to face Dirrell.