Juan Manuel Lopez was his usual self tonight, and in round three against Francisco Vargas, he went into stop-or-be-stopped, all-action mode. He was stopped after that round, when the bout was halted in the corner, after Lopez was beaten up and dropped within the frame.
Referee Vic Drakulich made the call and stopped the fight "upon advice and suggestion from the corner."
Vargas (20-0-1, 14 KO) was able to eat power shots from Lopez (34-4, 31 KO), while also landing bombs of his own, wobbling Lopez repeatedly before finally putting him down. The Puerto Rican veteran was on bad legs for the remaining chunk of the round, but did survive until the bell. The stoppage, however, was a good call, as Lopez was clearly done and just about out on his feet.
Vargas, a 29-year-old former Olympian from Mexico, is now potentially on his way to a world title shot, as this is the biggest name win on his record to date. He's a quality fighter and can fight, but it's worth wondering if Vargas beating a natural super bantamweight who has seen better days really means as much as the hype behind it will tell us. That's still to be found out, but Vargas deserves the credit for this win tonight, as he was just too strong and good for Lopez.