Juan Manuel Lopez was outclassed last night in Dallas against Mikey Garcia, and the Puerto Rican brawler is making no excuses or outlandish claims about gambling referees or the like. Lopez admits that Garcia was simply too good:
"I saw that he was fresh and hungry, so I did not go after the knockout. I decided to wait for a few more rounds to pass. There are no excuses. He was better tonight. I did not expect him to use the left so well. We prepared for his right, but his left hook got me good. There is no excuse regarding the weight or anything. I felt good and I felt strong. The first time I was hit and went down - I was not hurt. The second time I opened my eyes and I was on the floor."
It's rare to see a fighter offer absolutely no argument about a stoppage, but Lopez (33-3, 30 KO) appears to be totally fine with referee Rafael Ramos' decision to end the bout in the fourth round, acknowledging that he was hurt, that he didn't see the punches that landed and resulted in the second knockdown of the bout, and not saying that he was fine or whatever.
Lopez may not really be able to recover from this -- he should still go on and win fights and all that, but he looks as shot as a fighter can get at 29, in terms of being able to compete with other top guys. He can still beat the mediocre opponents he's been beating, and he'll be able to make a little money along the way, and he'll probably get another title shot or three, but it's hard to see him ever being a serious contender again. Garcia owned him, and Lopez looked hopeless.