Photo:  Google images/zonadeboxeo.com/ –

By:  Paul Strauss –

By now everyone knows Mikey stopped Juanma, and everyone knows Mikey missed making weight by two pounds. Everyone knows he is undefeated, blah blah blah, but damn if he didn’t demonstrate boxing at its best Saturday night. It was highly entertaining to watch someone who is so good at his job that he makes it look easy. Unfortunately, some fans mistake his level of talent boring, but they fail to understand and appreciate the difficulty involved with making a violent job like his look easy. He transforms a violent sport into one of grace, power and courage. He puts fundamental together in an almost magical way. What he does resembles the proverbial surgeon. His victories over Solito and Juanma were excellent example of this type of wonderful skill. Generally speaking, surgeons put people back together, but Mikey systematically takes them apart. His kind of skill surpasses that seen in other sports. In several of those sports the beauty and skill manifests itself through such things as a “sweet swing” in tennis, golf or baseball.

You add foot speed and grace, and yes there fun to watch. But, boxing obviously adds another element, and it’s no little thing. As you well know, It happens to be an opponent who is trying to knock your guy’s head off. Not even head hunting linebackers provide quite the same threat as having a guy glaring at you from across the ring. That added element provides a vicarious thrill which is exclusive to boxing. Appreciating boxing allows us to get a kick out of comments like Max Baer made when ask about fear in the ring. He said, “Fear is when you look across the ring at Joe Louis, and Joe looks like he wants to go home early! That fear”.

Certainly it’s fun to watch a skilled boxer show off in the gym without an opponent, when he’s making the speed bag rat a tat with blinding speed, or watch this special athlete jump rope so fast you hardly see the rope, only hear it.. It’s similar to admiring a beautiful horse in the paddock before the race. But, it’s not the race, and not the reality and danger of the actual contest.

When the great ones climb through the ropes into the squared circle, they set themselves apart from other athletes. The great ones show us not only the beauty in it, but of course the violence as well. All prospective boxers go through the same drills: proper stance and keep your guard up. Coaches and trainers harp on their pupils to maintain proper balance and squawk about the importance of the jab. They are told how to move in behind it. Pupils are scolded into doing it again and again, so many times that they want to shout “enough already”! But, the really good ones, like Mikey take simple ordinary things like those drills and elevate them to a crackerjack level. Have you ever heard of Ernest Hemingway’s comment: “Never mistake motion for action.” Well, that’s comparable to taking an average boxer and comparing his skill to that of someone like Mikey Garcia. Really, there is no comparison. When one of Mikey’s scheduled bouts is announced, immediately fans can’t wait for the sound of that first bell. They know once it’s sounds, they will be in for something special. On fight night, the anticipation permeates the air to the bursting point. ,

A few skeptics who would like to burst Garcia’s balloon say, his style is boring. He doesn’t take enough chances. They’re short sighted and miss out on the beauty in watching a great fighter work. Great technicians like Mikey demonstrate not only skill, but courage as well, the kind that allows them to stay calm and focused when under fire . Yes, it takes a certain amount of guts to just step into the ring. But, too many fighters have just enough courage to lose. To be victorious, it takes far more courage. For the victor, it’s not only speed of hand and foot, it’s having a specific purpose, not just flapping arms in the wind. The great ones make precise moves for a reason. Like Mr. Hemingway said, simply moving around doesn’t equate to specific action. To great ones, movements are carefully designed to set up opportunities. The good ones and great ones do it with ease and beauty. The great ones pay attention in the gym and absorb the oft repeated instructions. When we see the finished product, we sit in wonderment, trying to understand how they can make it look easy.

Such Grade A practitioners of the sweet science demonstrate what they’ve learned with a simplicity. To them, moving when and where they need to, avoiding punches and rippiing off properly leveraged and accurately placed counter punches looks too easy. Saturday night Mikey wasn’t afraid of or distracted by Juanma’s reputation. He respected Juanma, but certainly wasn’t afraid, because he did his homework and turned simple drills into something extraordinary. He was faced with an aggressive, rugged, dangerous opponent. Mikey was comfortable and ready, because he knew and understood how Juanma’s aggression could be exploited. It brings to mind what Evander Holyfield once said when asked why he wasn’t afraid of Mike Tyson? The Real Deal explained he knew that an aggressive fighter is most vulnerable when he’s throwing punches. He planned to take advantage ot it, and we all know he did in a big way. But, the truth is the ingredients of a great fighter and examples of the sweet science involve multiples. The multiples are put together in such a way that the smallest opening or mistake made by the opponent becomes is an opportunity. It’s when it’s done properly, that even a violent sport such as boxing can be beautiful.

The beauty comes when many simple things are put together properly, with discipline and desire, and then executed precisely. That’s when it ends up being made to look easy. The golfer and baseball batter hitting the “sweet spot” with smooth, graceful swings. In football it is can be someone like QB Brady courageously stepping “up” into the pocket at just the right second, barely avoiding the on rushing behemoths, who are trying to decapitate him. He stays focused and releases the ball in a tight spiral right on target to the rapidly moving receiver. Of course each sport has it’s own example of beauty and talent, those individuals who are truly gifted with all the needed ingredients to “make things look easy”. That’s what we experience when we are privileged to watch someone like Mikey. We can only look on with awe. Mikey is blessed with that kind of ability. He operates with such ease. After one of his victories, such as the one Saturday night, onlookers are left questioning their own senses. It was that way Saturday night and prompted the comment, “I didn’t think anyone could beat Juanma Lopez that easily!”


Date:  Saturday, June 15, 2013

WBO Featherweight Championship Title

Location:  American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

Promoter:  Top Rank/ Bob Arum

Referee:  Rafael Ramos

Judges:    Levi Martinez, Javier Alvarez, Oren Shellenberger

Supervisor:  Rafael López Santos

Result:   Mikey Garcia win the fight against Juan Manuel Lopez by TKO in round four.   Garcia loses title on the scales.  Featherweight Title is vacant.


Photo:  Joel Colon/PBBP –

Mikey Garcia stopped Juan Manuel Lopez in the fourth round of their WBO featherweight bout but it was to no avail as Garcia didn’t make weight.

Mikey Garcia stopped Juan Manuel Lopez in the fourth round on Saturday, leaving the WBO featherweight title vacant after Garcia failed to make weight.

Garcia (32-0) weighed in at 128 pounds (58 kg) on Friday, two pounds over the featherweight limit.

Lopez weighed in at 125.5 pounds (57 kg). Even though he tried to shed a couple pounds before the weigh-in, Garcia knew it was likely he was going to have to forfeit his title.

“The disappointment was there because I lost my title,” Garcia said.

“I was crying a little bit because I knew I wasn’t the champion. But everybody got a chance to see I’m a good fighter. This was a satisfying victory.”

Garcia put Lopez on the ground with a strong left-handed blow 1:34 into the fourth round for his 27th career knockout.

Lopez (33-3) would have regained the title with a win.

Garcia won the title from Orlando Salido on a unanimous decision in New York on January 19.

The title reign, however, was short-lived after Garcia didn’t make weight.



Mikey Garcia delivers the knockout blow to Juan Manuel Garcia during their Saturday bout in Dallas.
Tony Gutierrez/AP

DALLAS (AP) Mikey Garcia quickly got over the disappointment of losing his crown.

Garcia stopped Juan Manuel Lopez in the fourth round Saturday night, leaving the WBO featherweight title vacant after Garcia failed to make weight.

Garcia (32-0) weighed in at 128 pounds Friday, two over the featherweight limit. Lopez weighed in at 125 1/2. Even though he tried to shed a couple pounds before the weigh-in, Garcia knew it was likely he was going to have to forfeit his title.

“The disappointment was there because I lost my title,” Garcia said. “I was crying a little bit because I knew I wasn’t the champion. But everybody got a chance to see I’m a good fighter. This was a satisfying victory.”

Garcia put Lopez on the ground with a strong left-handed blow 1:34 into the fourth round for his 27th career knockout. The 25-year-old Californian connected on 53 punches – 40 of them jabs. Lopez connected on only 23 of 153 attempted punches.

Lopez (33-3) would have regained the title with a win.

“It’s not that I wanted to make a statement,” Garcia said. “We just had a really good night.”

Garcia won the title from Orlando Salido in a unanimous decision in New York on Jan. 19. The title reign, however, was short-lived after Garcia didn’t make weight.

The only two losses of Lopez’s career were to Salido. The first one cost him the WBO belt, and the second led to a one-year suspension by Puerto Rican boxing officials when he accused the referee who stopped the fight of betting on the match.

Lopez had won twice since his one-year ban ended, beating Aldimar Silva Santos in February and knocking out Eugenio Lopez in an undercard bout in Mexico City in April.

Garcia’s plan was to attack early with the jab and step back from Lopez before attacking. With a majority of fans chanting his first name early, Garcia came out and landed a series of jabs in the first round.

In the second round, Garcia knocked Lopez down with a right cross. Lopez quickly rose to his feet and completed the round. Garcia finished off the 29-year-old Lopez two rounds later.

“I was able to land my jab and stand pretty comfortable,” Garcia said. “When I knocked him down, that gave me confidence that I could put him out early.”

Lopez appeared wobbly early in the fourth after Garcia landed a combination of punches. Garcia finished him off with a powerful left hook. Lopez slowly got up and referee Rafael Ramos quickly called the match.

“We executed perfectly” said Garcia’s older brother and co-trainer, Robert Garcia.

On the undercard, Terence Crawford (21-0) won the vacant NABO lightweight title, stopping Alejandro Sanabria (34-2-1) in the sixth round. Crawford dropped Sanabria with a left hook 17 seconds into the round.

Sanabria got up, but the referee called the fight to give Crawford his 16th knockout victory.


By Jeff Zimmerman
Photo: Joel Colon/PR Best

Undefeated WBO Featherweight Champion Mikey Garcia and former 2X world champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez along with Hall of Fame Promoter Bob Arum and former Heavyweight Champion George Foreman took center stage at the final presser for this Saturday’s mega fight at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas and also shown live on HBO.

The usual cheery Juanma, though, wanted to set the record straight about his career and the caliber of talent he has faced compared to Mikey. He believes everyone is so focused on his losses to Salido and how Mikey demolished Salido that he therefore has no shot in this fight. He made it very clear that this is not his first rodeo.

“If you go by Salido, Mikey should beat me by knockout. I knocked out Concepcion in 2 rounds and he beat him in 8 rounds. Salido was a great fight [against Mikey], but Salido was on his way out.”

All this Salido talk has really started to bother Juanma.

“Yea it bothers me because they don’t look at my whole work and I have been a 2x world champion. I have beaten some guys; he went 12 rounds with Lontchi and I knocked him out. There are other guys in there that you should be looking up besides that one fight.” Juanma also believes he has had the superior career to date.

“I believe that, I believe that I have fought better opponents. I have been a world champion longer and fought a lot of tough fights as a champion, so I do believe that I have faced tougher guys than he has.”

Juanma added, “My world championship fight will be #12 on Saturday, this is only going to be his 2nd fight as world champion.”

Juanma is aware of Mikey’s versatility as a boxer and puncher.

“You know, he’s a boxer but he’s also a puncher if he needs to be, he’ll trade with you. I am not afraid of trading with him. I know that will happen during the fight – he will trade with me sooner or later. It’s the question of making my fight, making him adjust to my fight.” Juanma, though, has no doubt he is bringing the title back to Puerto Rico.

“Mikey wants to keep the title and I want to get something that was once mine.” “One time I saw Mikey in New York and told him don’t worry, you will have an opportunity and become world champion. I hope he is in great condition and willing to die in the ring, because come Saturday it will be the toughest fight of his career. I come to take the title back to Puerto Rico Saturday night.”

Mikey displayed his usual classy self and respect for his opponent but with the utmost confidence in his ability.

“I know my opponent is a tough guy. He is experienced and has been a champion twice. I don’t take him lightly. When you are champion there are no easy fights,” stated Mikey. Mikey responded to Juanma’s frustration with the Salido comparison and Juanma’s comment about Concepcion.

“That’s the truth. It’s the truth, he did take Concepcion out in round 2, but he was also almost knocked out in the 1st round by Concepcion and I didn’t even get touched by Concepcion. So you can’t really compare the fighters, it’s not really a fair comparison, really.”

“The fans and media keep pushing something like that, the Salido fight or whatever, but it’s not fair, because you catch them at different times in their career. I can actually have a better Juanma this time around then when he fought Salido, until Saturday night we’ll find out.”

Was Salido a finished fighter when you fought him?

“I don’t think so. I just made it my fight, if I stand toe to toe with Salido and I make it an interesting fight and it’s a close fight and give him opportunities. If I stay on the outside and box my way around him, it’s easy for me.” Mikey is confident.

“I think I am a better fighter overall, just a better fighter, whether it’s punching power or boxing ability, speed, whatever. I think I’m the better fighter and that’s why I will win.” “This is another opportunity to show everybody that I truly am the best featherweight in the world.”

Arum sees a slugfest in the making and puts in historic fashion, comparing it to the to the classic Salvador Sanchez vs Wilfredo Gomez. “Absolutely it will [be a classic] and somebodies winning by a knockout. I would not be surprised if both of them go down.”

Arum also compared his former Heavyweight Champion to these Featherweights.

“There wasn’t a bigger puncher than George Foreman, but these featherweights pack a good punch as well.”

Arum continued, “Everyone is really excited about the main event. You have a former champion from Puerto Rico, who has a record of sensationally knocking guys cold. Guys couldn’t get out of first round with him and then they went on fighting other people and won a world championship.”

“A Mexican American kid from Oxnard, California coming from a family steeped in boxing, his father was a trainer, his brother a trainer and former champion so a family that has lived and breathed boxing and whose has had a sterling record as a professional.”

Arum added, “This match is very, very exciting, when you put a great Puerto Rican fighter vs a great Mexican, Mexican American fighter, there is no other rivalry that stirs the blood like that rivalry does.”

Co-promoter of Juanma, Peter Rivera of PR Best Boxing echoed Arum’s feeling when Mexicans and Puerto Ricans square off. “Mexicans and Puerto Ricans make great fights, one of the most tremendous fights you can see in boxing. We are confident Juan Manuel will be champion again…we have no doubt about that.”

WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel also weighed in on the matchup.

“It’s a pleasure to be here with my favorite champ [George Foreman]. We have 2 big weapons fighting each other in this fight. You will see a great fight on Saturday.”

George Foreman, along with his sons is co-promoting with Bob Arum and Top Rank and is glad to a part of it.

“I’m happy to be here, especially in Dallas. We call it the big city next to Houston”, stated Big George. “You won’t have to go out of the country to see a great fight. Once the bell rings there is no champion so sit back and get ready for a good show.”

Big George can’t wait for fight night.

“Each fight, all fights are as equally exciting to me. That’s the advantage I have over most people, they are looking for a big fight, and I’m just looking for any fight. I love fighters and I love action and this I am looking forward to.”

Big George does give Juanma a puncher’s chance but loves Mikey’s left hook.

“When the bell rings, the title is vacant. There aren’t any champions, that title is vacant. You have no winners until the first punch is thrown, anybody can walk out of there with the crown.

“I’m looking for this Mikey Garcia. I call him the best left hooker to never come out of Philadelphia.”

* * *

Arum is very high on the co-main event as well that puts Alejandro Sanabria (33-2, 30KO’s) against Terrence Crawford (20-0, 15KO’s) for the NABO Lightweight Championship.

“This is a very good competitive match, the kind of match that is extremely fan friendly. People will be on the edge of their seats watching,” stated Arum.

Sanabria was happy to introduce himself to America.

“I come here with a desire to prove to the American public my talent and going out there Saturday night. This is a great opportunity in my career. I know I have trained very hard.”

Arum tells the story how they discovered Crawford after fighting on several of Top Rank’s undercards and then suddenly becomes a last minute replacement to fight Breidis Prescott and beats him handily.

“This is a true story of how boxing works, it’s not a Cinderella story, it’s a story,” stated Arum. “This is how Lou Gehrig replaced Wally Pip. He got the opportunity. For those of you that don’t remember, Wally Pipp was the 1st baseman for the Yankees and Lou Gehrig was a rookie and Pip got injured and Gehrig came in and replaced him and never relinquished the 1st base position until he had set all kinds of records for consecutive games played.”

“So Terrence stepped in, he was the Lou Gehrig of boxing of our time and here he is performing on the big stage as a HBO fighter in what should be a tremendous fight.”

The Gehrig / Pipp comparison was probably lost on the 25 year old Crawford, but he was definitely glad to be there.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank god for blessing me with the opportunity to be here and HBO / Top Rank for having me again. I trained really hard for this fight, I never overlook an opponent and I am just ready to go out on Saturday to display my talent once again and to show everybody that I was no “one hit wonder.”

Both Big George and Bob Arum are expecting the beginning of great things together in Big D starting with Juanma vs Mikey, but understand it doesn’t happen overnight. “Yea, it’s a process. We have done it all over Texas. I don’t why we can’t do it here in Dallas,” Arum said.

Added Big George, “You are just going to have to see when they walk up, but it’s a hard thing when you say HBO, everybody thinks you are supposed to stay at home and watch it on TV, but I want to show them it’s more exciting going out to a live match then you would ever get on television.”

Below photos by Chris Farina / Top Rank

thumbs_61313juanma001   thumbs_61313juanma002  thumbs_61313juanma003  thumbs_61313juanma004  thumbs_61313juanma005  thumbs_61313juanma006  thumbs_61313juanma008  thumbs_61313juanma009  craford.NABO  thumbs_61313juanma011



By Miguel Rivera –

Former two-division world champion Juan Manuel Lopez (33-2, 30KOs) is having no problem making the featherweight limit for Saturday’s fight with WBO champion Mikey Garcia at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. When Lopez left the gym on Wednesday, he weighed 127-pounds – one pound under the featherweight limit.

After dropping back down to face Garcia, Lopez found that he didn’t really struggle to make the weight. He felt so comfortable in camp that he wants to stick around for at least one more fight – against Filipino star Nonito Donaire (31-2, 20KOs). Donaire would be Lopez’s final fight at 126, before he moves up to chase a third world crown at super featherweight.

“After Mikey Garcia, I want to fight Nonito Donaire and then I’m going to move up to 130-pounds to pursue a title there,” Juanma said.







DALLAS (June 6, 2013) — Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion MIKEY GARCIA (31-0, 26 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., and former WBO junior featherweight and WBO featherweight champion JUAN MANUEL LOPEZ (33-2, 30 KOs), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, will break training camp and arrive in Dallas next week! Yes, sir! Fight week is about to begin as the two featherweight gladiators prepare for their world title rumble at American Airlines Center®. Joining them at various events will be Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum and former two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman, who are co-promoting this championship card. The Dallas / Ft. Worth Media Fight Week schedule is as follows (all times are Central Time):



American Airlines Center – Outdoors at the AT&T Plaza (south side of AAC) 2500 Victory Ave., Dallas, TX. 75219

· 2:00 p.m. Juanma Lopez

· 2:30 p.m. Mikey Garcia



La Gran Plaza de Fort Worth Mall – Center Court

4200 South Freeway, Fort Worth, TX. 76115

· 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.



American Airlines Center – Arena Floor, North Concourse Area

2500 Victory Ave., Dallas, TX. 75129

· 1:30 p.m. Doors Open

· 2:00 p.m. News Conference Begins, followed by one-on-one interviews



American Airlines Center – Arena Floor, North Concourse

2500 Victory Ave., Dallas, TX. 75219

· Noon Doors Open

· 1:15 p.m. Fighters on the scale

· 1:30 p.m. Garcia and Lopez on the scale




Yorba Linda, Calif.    — Undefeated WBO Featherweight Champion Mikey Garcia works out for the many fans that showed up for his public workout session Saturday in Yorba Linda,Ca.   Garcia will make his first title defense against former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez of Caguas, Puerto Rico, Saturday,June 15 from the American Airlines Center in Dallas,Texas. Garcia vs Lopez,  televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark will be promoted by Top Rank in association with PR Best Boxing, Foreman Boys Promotions and Tecate.



— Photos by Chris Farina/Top Rank.



Photo by:  Joel Colon.edited/PRBBP –

By Jeff Zimmerman –

Former World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior featherweight and featherweight champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez (33-2, 30 KOs), of Caguas, Puerto Rico discusses his June 15 showdown with undefeated WBO featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) of Oxnard, California . Their HBO-televised collision will take place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

How do you feel coming into this fight?
I feel really good; I have good preparation for this type of fight.

Stepping in against Garcia after tough losses to Salido
It’s all about styles and I think are styles are going to match and I have a great opponent.

Are you going to try and knock him out?
We are going to go hard, pressure him, pressure him and if the knock comes or 12 rounds, we got to be prepared everyday.

On leaving Puerto Rico for training to stay focused which has been an issue in the past
It is difficult to leave Puerto Rico, we have talked about it before, going to Big Bear, going to other places to train, but you know what, I love my kids and I get to see them all the time, I can’t see myself leaving them for a long period of time. Visit our website https://freespinspromo.com and get exclusive sign up free spins and no deposit real money bonuses


16 may 2013 PRE PESAJE JUANMA LOPEZ 01 (4) (720x464)

CAGUAS, PUERTO RICO – Former two time world champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez is completely focused in his next fight against the World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia on June 15 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas in a Top Rank presentation to be broadcast on HBO.

Juanma Lopez (33-2, 30 KOs), who is ranked #4 by the WBO in the featherweights, weighed today at 138 pounds of a 144.9 pounds maximum, as part of the Puerto Rico Professional Boxing Comission 30- day pre weigh-in.

“We are working to make the weight and to get the best condition. Our goal was to make 139 pounds today and we made 138, it’s so good”, said Lopez, who was going to train after the pre weigh in. “We are one month before the fight and I’m feeling very good with the training. As we made two fights (in February and April) this year, I kept in the gym all the time. We want to be in 131 or 132 pounds next week and work with that weight for the finals weeks, but I’m so good, eating good and in a good mood”.

Lopez, who come off two KO wins in February and April, 2013, over Aldimar Silva Santos and Eugenio Lopez, respectively, has a bruise on his face because he fell yesterday during his morning workout.

“In a reaction work with the medicine ball, I slipped on the on the wet race track and fell, unbeleivable, that’s the first time in my career”, said Lopez laughing.

Mikey Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) come off a spectacular win over Orlando Salido to win the WBO featherweight belt on January 19, when he sent Salido four times to the canvas. Garcia won by technical decision in nine rounds when he hurted his nose after an accidental headbutt and didn’t continue the fight.

“I think that styles make the fights and I know that the style of Mikey Garcia is good for me. We are working in it, but also for anything he brings”, said Lopez.



DALLAS (May 9, 2013) — Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion MIKEY GARCIA will make his first title defense, against former two-division world champion JUAN MANUEL “Juanma” LOPEZ, Saturday, June 15, at the American Airlines Center (2500 Victory Ave., Dallas, TX 75219). The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark®, beginning at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT. This will be the first time HBO has televised a boxing event from the American Airlines Center. Making their Dallas debut, Garcia and Lopez boast a combined record of 64-2 (56 KOs) — a winning percentage of 97% and a victory by knockout ratio of 87.5%.

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with PR Best Boxing, Foreman Boys Promotions and Tecate, tickets, priced at $200, $100, $60, $40 and $25, plus additional service fees, will go on sale This Saturday! May 11 at 10:00 a.m. CT. Tickets can be purchased at the American Airlines Center box office (Monday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT), online at Ticketmaster.com, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, or by visiting any Ticketmaster outlet (Fiesta Foods, Macy’s Wal-Mart and The Shops at Willowbend.)

“Mikey proved in his last fight that he is a world champion. Now he has to prove he can remain a world champion when he faces one of the toughest men in the division in two-time world champion Juanma,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank. “This caps off an incredible run for boxing during the first half of 2013.”

“Mikey Garcia versus Juan Manuel Lopez is a can’t miss attraction,” says Kery Davis, senior vice president, HBO Sports. “Dallas is a first-class sports destination and we’re thrilled to be going to the American Airlines Center. June 15 is a date fight fans need to circle on their boxing calendar.”

Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs), of Oxnard Calif., a 2010 graduate of California’s Ventura County Police and Sheriff’s Reserve Officer Academy, returns to the ring having won 14 of his past 16 bouts by knockout. In his last fight, on January 19, he dethroned two-time featherweight champion Orlando Salido at Madison Square Garden via an eight-round technical win that had Garcia winning virtually every round against the seasoned veteran. Garcia, 25, had a career-best year in 2011, knocking out previously undefeated contender Matt Remillard in the 10th round in March to capture his NABF and NABO title belts. He followed that with four-round knockout title defense victories of Rafael Guzman and Juan Carlos Martinez in June and October, respectively. Guzman and Martinez had a combined record of 47-14-1 when they fought Garcia. Last year, he continued his winning ways, knocking out one-time world title challenger Bernabe Concepcion and former world champion Mauricio Pastrana, in the seventh and second rounds, respectively. He ended his 2012 campaign by knocking out former WBA featherweight champion Jonathan Barros in the eighth round on November 10, 2012. Garcia is trained by his father Eduardo Garcia and co-managed and trained by his brother, 2012 Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia, the former IBF junior lightweight champion.

Lopez (33-2, 30 KOs), from Caguas, Puerto Rico, returns to the ring for the third time this year, with 21 of his past 22 victories coming by way of knockout. The latest victims were Aldimar Santos and Eugenio Lopez on February 2 and April 20, respectively. The pride of Puerto Rico’s only blemishes on his sterling record have come from Salido, who scored world title victories over Lopez in 2011 and 2012. Lopez earned his first world title by knocking out defending WBO junior featherweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon in the first round of their June 2008 fight. After five successful title defenses – four by knockout – he vacated the title and successfully challenged WBO featherweight champion Steven Luevano, stopping him in the seventh round, on January 28, 2010, at Madison Square Garden. He successfully defended his featherweight crown twice during his 15-month reign with an exciting second-round TKO of Bernabe Concepcion and an eighth-round TKO of two division world champion Rafael Márquez.



Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) of Oxnard, Calif., former WBO junior featherweight and WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel “JuanMa” Lopez (33-2, 30 KOs), of Caguas, Puerto Rico will be squaring off in a title fight which will take place on Saturday, June 15 and will be televised live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on HBO Boxing After Dark.

Garcia and JuanMa will be hosting a press conference this Thursday,  May 9, beginning at 1:00 p.m. CT,  at the American Airlines Center (2500 Victory Ave., Dallas, TX 75219) to officially announce the fight. Two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum will also be in attendance.

This will mark the first time HBO has ever broadcast a fight from the American Airlines Center.  The Garcia – Lopez world championship event will be promoted by Top Rank®, in association with PR Best Boxing, Foreman Boys Promotions and Tecate.

Garcia vs. Lopez would have been a real mouth-watering fight a couple of years ago. Of course, Top Rank took its time giving Garcia his shot, and since then, we all know what’s happened to JuanMa, being knocked out twice. Garcia now holds JuanMa’s former belt, which he lost to Orlando Salido.

This almost feels as if they’re feeding their once cash-cow to their next up and coming star. But we don’t really know how Mikey will respond to the offense and power of Lopez, so there’s definitely still some intrigue and excitement here. Their two styles should mesh well to produce a fun fight, too.



Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank –

WBO world featherweight champion Mikey Garcia receives a Proclamation and a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from Council member Victoria Baca (R) from the City of Moreno,California for his achievement of becoming the new WBO World Featherweight champion.

Rumor has it that Mikey could return on June 22 on a big Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. card at a site to be named in Texas, possibly against Orlando Cruz.


mikey-garciaPhotos: Chris Farina/Top Rank

Newly-crowned WBO world featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) made a special guest appearance on the popular “ESPN Deportes – A Los Golpes” show on Monday with hosts Bernardo Osuna, Julio Cesar Chavez and David Faitelson at the ESPN studios in downtown Los Angeles. Mikey was accompanied by his trainer/father Eduardo Garcia.

The 25-year-old Garcia won the world title via eight round technical decision over Orlando “Siri” Salido at The Theater inside Madison Square Garden in New York City, knocking the reigning champion down four times.


Sources have confirmed to BoxingScene.com that Orlando Salido will defend his WBO featherweight title against Mikey Garcia in an HBO doubleheader Nov. 10 in Las Vegas.

The 12-round Salido-Garcia fight will headline a “Boxing After Dark” doubleheader from Wynn Las Vegas & Encore Hotel.

Garcia (28-0, 24 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., is the mandatory challenger for the Mexican champion’s WBO 126-pound crown. Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs, 1 NC) made his most recent defense against Chile’s Moises Gutierrez (21-5, 8 KOs), whom Salido stopped in the third round July 28 in Tepic, Mexico.

The co-featured fight Nov. 10 will pit Vanes Martirosyan (32-0, 20 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., against Cuban-born southpaw Erislandy Lara (17-1-1, 11 KOs) in a 12-round, 154-pound WBC elimination match.

Top Rank Inc., which won a purse bid to promote the Lara-Martirosyan match and represents Garcia, is expected to make an official announcement regarding the doubleheader sometime next week.

By: Keith Idec


On November 10th, WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KO’s) will be defending his title against #1 WBO Mikey Garcia (29-0, 25 KO’s) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also on the card will be unbeaten #3 WBC junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (32-0, 20 KO’s) facing would could turn out to be his first loss of his career against #2 WBC Erislandy Lara (17-1-1, 11 KO’s) in a WBC 154 pound final eliminator bout.

Mikey Garcia, 24, is totally unproven and hasn’t looked all that great in terms of skills in his fights against mostly 3rd tier opposition. Garcia has good power, but really bad ring habits. He doesn’t really throw combinations, doesn’t throw many punches, and mostly loads up with his single shots. He’s got power but not much more than Salido, who throws a lot more punches and is much more versatile. Garcia fights like he’s so stiff, and he’s going to have big time problems against Salido when he doesn’t fall down from Garcia’s single power shots.

Garcia has beaten Juan Carlos Martinez, Bernabe Concepcion and Maurcio Pastrana in his last three fights. In other words, journeyman level opposition. He’s not fought anyone that could really test him and he’s picked up a lot of bad habits because of his weak opposition.

I’d be surprised if Garcia makes it six rounds against Salido. He’s just not in the same league as him and needs to learn how to fight the proper way. Hopefully, after Garcia gets knocked out by Salido he can get a new trainer and learn how to fight properly because he reminds me of the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. He’s incredibly stiff.

Martirosyan is a Freddie Roach trained fighter who hasn’t fought anyone that you could call talented. His toughest fight came against Kassim Ouma in January 2010, and he won a controversial 10 round decision in that fight. Many boxing fans still feel that Martirosyan deserved to lose that fight. He’s gone backwards from that fight facing steadily weaker and weaker opposition up until this fight with Lara.

By: Jason Kim


While nothing is official as of yet, it seems evident that IBF/WBO junior featherweight championNonito Donaire will be returning in a few months’ time to defend his belts against all-action multi-division champion Jorge Arce. The location of the Donaire-Arce fight is still up in the air, with Los Angeles and Texas both in the running, and while the fight figures to be entertaining, there are some who can’t help but look at the matchup as a mismatch in the Fil-Am star’s favor.

Featherweight contender Mikey Garcia knows Donaire very well, as his brother and former champion Robert trains him, and he actually sees some upside to the contest

“That’s going to be a good fight for Donaire,” Garcia would tell me over the weekend. “Arce has been trying to get Donaire for quite some time now. He’s been calling him out and Donaire’s not afraid either, it’s just been a matter of business and negotiation issues. Seems like they might get it on this time around. Arce has been a tough warrior for the past ten years.”

Arce’s warrior mentality has served him well in the past but Garcia like’s Donaire’s versatility to carry the day.

“It’s going to be a challenge for Donaire, being that there are fighting now at a higher weight class, but they still have enough to give a good show,” said Garcia. “I think Donaire, however, is probably the smarter, more complete fighter and I think that’s what is going to allow him to win. He’s got skills, speed, power, and overall, I think [he’s] a better fighter than Arce.”

Garcia is coming off of a systematic 7th round TKO over former title challenger Bernabe Concepcion this past March that raised his record to 28-0 with 24 knockouts. After a fight with WBA champion Celestino Caballero fell apart recently, it now appears that Garcia could be meeting WBO champion Orlando Salidolater this year instead.

There has been plenty of talk of Donaire eventually moving to the featherweight class and if Garcia is still there when he rises in weight, it’s only natural to the think of him as a future opponent for Nonito. And while Garcia has brushed off talking of fighting Donaire in the past because of their connection to Robert, he has since appeared to change his tune on such a scenario ever-slightly.

“If my brother is working with him, I don’t think my brother would want that fight, being that we are both my brother’s fighter,” Garcia would admit. “But if it something were we are talking about, if it’s a fight that people want to see and the promoter wants to put on, my brother would most likely tell Donaire to get another trainer. I don’t think my brother is going to have us fight each other while he is still fighting Donaire.”

“And if he decides to get another trainer and if he wants the fight and if I’m there still in the division and people want to see the fight, yes, we’ll do the fight. That’s not any problem,” Garcia continued.

First things first however, as both Jorge Arce and Orlando Salido surely have something to say about those plans. Let’s see how Donaire and Garcia do with their next fights and maybe then the picture will be a little clearer.

By: Chris Robinson


No. 1-rated contender MIKEY GARCIA will risk his undefeated record, his NABO and NABF featherweight titles and his rating when he faces two-time world championship challenger BERNABE CONCEPCION on the Lopez-Salido II card which will take place Saturday, March 10 and will be televised live from Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, P.R. on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing®, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). Photos by Peter Amador/Top Rank.


Wednesday’s presser in San Juan for the rematch between Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez revealed two things as it pertains to the main event: Lopez is intent on proving that the first fight was a fluke, while Salido just wants everyone to shut up and fast forward to fight night.

As was the case last April, Showtime will be on board to televise the clash, live from Coliseo Roberto Clemente (Saturday, 10PM ET/PT). The final presser before Saturday’s showdown saw both fighters say as much with body language as they did behind the mic.

Salido (37-11-2, 25KO) appeared disinterested for much of the media station, so much that he didn’t even make note of the promotional banner, listing Lopez’ name first despite the fact that he enters Saturday’s rematch as the defending champ.

The 31-year old Mexican was sporting his usual blue zip-up jacket with the WBO patched placed just above the heart, proudly representing the organization that crowned him champ in last year’s monster knockout upset over Lopez. His wardrobe – also including jeans and sneakers – was in stark contrast to that of the flashy Lopez (31-1, 28KO), who appeared in a suit and tie and with plenty to say.

Above all else, Lopez is trying his hardest to convince anyone who will listen that the JuanMa from the first fight and the one who will be present are two separate fighters entirely.

“I want to clarify that I have never offered any excuses,” Lopez said of last April’s affair, in which the Puerto Rican suffered a 5th round knockdown and was stopped on his feet two rounds later. “So Orlando, I don’t want to hear you say any excuses. I assure you that March 10 that title is mine.”

‘That title’ was Lopez’ – along with an undefeated record and a rumored showdown with Yuriorkis Gamboa. All of that went out the window the moment referee Roberto Ramirez Jr rescued the Puerto Rican southpaw from taking further punishment midway through the seventh round of an even fight.

Since then, Lopez has fought just once – a third round knockout of Mike Oliver in an uneven performance. Meanwhile, Salido has spent every moment of the past near-year knowing what it once again feels like to be a champ.

That hasn’t sat well at all with Lopez, who thirsts for a return to the spotlight.

“I hope you enjoyed your title reign, because come March 10 I’m regaining my title,” Lopez insists. “Orlando, you can return the title that I let you borrow for the past 11 months.”

Whether he woke up late, or just wasn’t in the mood to be there, Salido couldn’t be bothered to summon up a response to Lopez’ claims. Instead, he remained true to his motto of letting his fists do all the talking.

“I don’t have much to say,” stated Salido when it was his turn to the mic. “I now come to (this fight) with more confidence than the last time.”


By Jake Donovan


            SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – El dos veces campeón del mundo Juan Manuel “Juanma” López buscara recuperar el campeonato mundial de peso pluma de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB) cuando se enfrente al monarca Orlando “Siri” Salido el sábado 10 de marzo en el histórico Coliseo Roberto Clemente de San Juan, Puerto Rico.

López (31-1, 28 KO’s) de Caguas, Puerto Rico buscara vengar la derrota que sufrió ante el mexicano Salido (37-11-2, 25 KO’s) de Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, México en abril del año pasado quien le arrebato su corona en Bayamón, Puerto Rico en una aguerrida batalla.

La pelea que será televisada en vivo por Showtime durante su gustado programa “Championship Boxing” es una promoción de Top Rank en asociación con PR Best Boxing Promotions, Promociones Zanfer y el Municipio de San Juan.

“Esperamos otra gran noche de boxeo en Puerto Rico. Sabemos que Orlando Salido quiere demostrar su calidad de campeón y que Juanma viene con todo para recuperar  su campeonato mundial. Es un combate muy atractivo y de mucha acción” , dijo Bob Arum de Top Rank.

Salido quien llego como retador el pasado mes de abril sorprendió al mundo del boxeo con su categórica victoria sobre el ídolo de Caguas y ahora tratara de repetirle la dosis al ex campeón mundial.

“Cuando vine el pasado mes de abril a Puerto Rico pocos pensaban que podría ganar la pelea, pero yo sabia que tenia el poder para hacerlo y le volveré ha ganar aquí en Puerro Rico”, dijo Salido.

López quien fue monarca pluma jr de la OMB estaba intentando hacer la tercera defensa titular del campeonato pluma ante Salido cuando perdió la corona ante el mexicano.

“Voy a demostrar que mi derrota ante Salido fue solo una mala noche, pues quiero darle a mi gente de Puerto Rico que no ha dejado de respaldarme una gran victoria para celebrar el próximo 10 de marzo en el Coliseo Roberto Clemente en donde estoy muy contento de pelear”, dijo López.

Salido conquisto el campeonato mundial pluma de la FIB el 15 de mayo del 2010 en Ciudad Obregón, Sonora al derrotar por puntos a su compatriota Cristóbal Cruz y lo perdió en la bascula antes de enfrentar a Yuriorkis Gamboa el 11 de septiembre del 2010 en Las Vegas.

Salido de 30 años, se ha enfrentado a los ex campeones mundiales Alejandro González, César Soto, Robert Guerrero y Cristóbal Cruz, Juan Manuel Márquez y Yuriorkis Gamboa.

El mexicano ha hecho una exitosa defensa de su corona mundial ante Kenichi Yamaguchi el pasado 23 de julio y en su más reciente pelea el pasado 17 de diciembre se levanto dos veces para noquear al filipino Weng Haya en un combate no titular. Ambas peles fueron en Ciudad Obregón.

López conquisto su primer campeonato mundial en Junio del 2008 al fulminar en un asalto a Daniel Ponce de León en Atlantic City e hizo cinco exitosas defensas de ese título de las 122 libras, incluyendo victorias sobre Gerry Peñalosa en Puerto Rico en Abril del 2009 y ante Rogers Mtagwa con quien se enfrascó en un duelo para el recuerdo el 10 Octubre del 2009 en Nueva York en el que demostró todo su talento, coraje y más que nada la habilidad de superar momentos difíciles sobre el ring.

El 23 de enero del 2010, López ascendió a las 126 libras para enfrentar a Steve Luevano, un campeón mundial con cinco defensas titulares reconocido como uno de los mejores pesos plumas del planeta, pero con una de sus mejores actuaciones como profesional López le arrebató el campeonato al californiano al noquearlo en el noveno asalto.

López hizo dos exitosas defensas de ese cinturón.  El 10 de julio del 2010 en el Coliseo de Puerto Rico se levantó de la lona para noquear al filipino Bernabe Concepcion y el 6 de noviembre en Las Vegas venció por KOT al doble campeón mundial Rafael Márquez.

En su más reciente actuación el pasado mes de octubre en Bayamón, Puerto Rico, López noqueo en dos asaltos a Mike Oliver.

En la otra pelea que será televisada el clasificado mundial invicto de peso pluma Miguel Angel “Mikey” García (27-0, 23 KO’s) de Oxnard, California expondrá sus títulos de peso pluma de la NABO y de la NABF ante el fuerte ponchador filipino Bernabe Concepcion (31-4-1, 17 KO’s) quien es manejado por el mejor boxeador libra por libra del mundo, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.

García esta actualmente clasificado número uno por la Asociación Mundial de Boxeo (AMB), número dos por el Consejo Mundial de Boxeo (CMB), número tres por la OMB y número ocho por la Federación Internacional de Boxeo (FIB) en peso pluma.



A recent swing through California saw me catch up and chronicle several fighters and boxing luminaries prepping for their next big assignments in one way or another.

This past weekend I paid a visit to the Two Feathers gym in Riverside as unbeaten featherweight Miguel ‘Mikey’ Garcia was putting in work for his March 10th Showtime date with former title challenger Bernabe Concepcion for the vacant WBO NABO Featherweight title, set to go down in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

And while I definitely felt the need to get back home, it was only fitting that I again paid a stop to the Two Feathers gym beforehand, as I heard Garcia was going to be putting in his final sparring before heading out to Puerto Rico this Tuesday.

On this day his older brother Robert would make the trek from his Oxnard bases with a pair of sparring partners for his young sibling, undefeated Russian-born featherweight Evgeny Gradovich and 23-year old lightweight prospect Javier ‘Pelos’ Garcia, who is also Garcia’s nephew.

Getting in on the action was another talented featherweight prospect, 3-0 Saul Rodriguez, a stable mate of Mikey’s.

In a round-robin kind of format that saw each guy put in six rounds of work, Garcia went three rounds with the aggressive Gradovich before switching off for three rounds with Javier. Javier then stayed in the ring and went three frames with Rodriguez, who, in return then went three stanzas with Gradovich.

No matter what pairing I watched, the sparring was very intense and competitive.

After the work was done I said my goodbyes, this Oxnard/Riverside crew being a particular favorite of mine to keep tabs on, and headed back home.

And while it was another whirlwind jaunt through Cali over those five days I find myself being grateful that I’m able to work so closely in a sport I love so much and can only hope my photos and interviews/stories do a bit of justice to the memorable time that was again had.


Photos and text by Chris Robinson



Undefeated featherweight contender Mikey Garcia appeared on the latest edition of The Boxing Lab, BoxingScene.com’s official audio show. Garcia faces Bernabe Concepcion on March 10th in a bout televised by Showtime for the vacant WBO NABO Featherweight title.

In the main event, WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido faces Juan Manuel Lopez in a rematch of their classic battle that took place last April. Assuming that Garcia defeats Concepcion, Top Rank would like to pit him against the winner of the Salido-Lopez rematch.

Garcia isn’t so sure that he will get a shot at JuanMa should the Puerto Rican avenge his loss to Salido.  He feels there is a good chance that JuanMa will move up in weight immediately after the Salido fight.

“If Lopez wins I am not sure that he will fight me. He said that if he wins the belt back that he may go to 130 or maybe even higher.  If it were to happen I think it would be a great fight for the fans with the Puerto Rico versus a Mexican (rivalry) but I am not sure if he wants that fight,” Garcia told The Boxing Lab.

Garcia said that he feels comfortable at featherweight and isn’t planning on moving up in weight anytime soon.  He also revealed that becoming a unified champion is one of his goals before he leaves the division.

“I want to stay here for a while. I haven’t won a title at featherweight yet. I would like to maybe win multiple titles here before I move up. At the moment I want to stay at 126.”


By Ryan Burton