Juan Manuel Lopez's career may have come to an end tonight, as he was knocked out in two rounds by Jesus Cuellar in the co-feature fight on tonight's FOX Sports 1 card, his second straight knockout loss, and his fifth in his last 12 fights.
Cuellar (25-1, 19 KO) successfully defended the ridiculous interim WBA featherweight title with the win over Lopez (34-5, 31 KO), a former super bantamweight champion whose prime was electric and, quite clearly, short. The 31-year-old Lopez said he was looking for another payday with a win tonight, but he was overpowered by Argentina's Cuellar, who may be putting himself into the mix for real at 126 pounds sooner than later.
Lopez developed a mouse under his right eye in the first round, and took heavy shots early from Cuellar, who showed no restraint against the once-fearsome puncher. In round two, Cuellar just kept going to work, throwing power shots that were designed to end the fight. And then, he ended it with a big flurry of right hooks and left hands, rattling Lopez's head around. Lopez hit the canvas, and referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight.
Cuellar landed 29 of 110 punches overall, with Lopez at 16 of 62. He looked slow, particularly in his defensive reactions, and it's pretty clear that the Puerto Rican is finished as a relevant contender. Whether or not he actually retires is another story.
Cuellar has now won eight in a row following a 2011 loss to Oscar Escandon.