Weekend boxing schedule looks to be exciting

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 Juan Manuel Lopez is working the speed bag at the Jose "Cheo" Aponte Torres Gym in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in preparation for his title defense Saturday night against Orlando Salido. Photo credit: Tom Casino of Showtime Sports

Friday, Banner Promotions, in association with the Pechanga Resort and Casino, has their sensational fight card at Pechanga with Marvin Quintero and Ruslan Provodnikov heading the bill and then Showtime’s boxing analyst Al Bernstein wrote me he’ll be at ringside calling the action with Gus Johnson for Showtime’s telecast of the Juan Manuel Lopez-Orlando Salido WBO Featherweight title match Saturday night from Puerto Rico.


In Orlando Salido's fight against Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero (left), everything seemed to be going his way. He had the quicker hands and managed to slip most every punch.

Salido, now 30 years-old, is a righty from Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico. He’s best known for dethroning Robert Guerrero back on November 4, 2006. The unanimous decision win was later over-turned after it was discovered that Salcido tested positive for a steroid called nandrolone; the result was then changed to a No Decision. However, Salido had a follow-up blood test taken the day after at LabCorp, a nationally recognized blood lab, and the findings were negative of any steroids.

Lopez, who hails from Caguas, Puerto Rico, is also a veteran who began to box when he was just 10 years old. He’s a dynamic, risk taking southpaw.

This will be the fourth Lopez title match Bernstein has announced and he stated, “I look forward to doing his matches as much as any fighter I’ve ever announced in my 30 years of broadcasting.” Plus big Al will have to put up with that nasty weather in Puerto Rico. On Saturday morning, they’re expecting some light showers and then the rest of the day should be gorgeous with a high of 80 degrees in that tourist trap of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. I hope he brought his sunscreen.

Bernstein called “JuanMa” a fan friendly champion, and explained why. “The two best words for the fans that you can put in front of a champion’s name  are exciting and vulnerable. Those two words are etched in front of his name.”

Even though he’s 30-0 with 27 wins by KO, the take no prisoners style of Lopez has led to him being down or staggered in several of his recent fights.

“Perhaps the wildest fight I’ve announced in the last five years was the 2009 Lopez fight with Rogers Mtagwa,” said Bernstein. “In the 12th round Juanma was literally out on his feet for almost all of the last three minutes and yet remained upright to win the decision—it was remarkable.”

On Saturday, he faces Orlando Salido, a Mexican brawler who has power in both hands and a great chin—it could produce another roller coaster evening for Lopez. “Salido is as live an underdog as you will ever see, and even fighting on Lopez’ home soil in Puerto Rico. Salido has a good chance for an upset.”

In Salcido’s last fight (September 11, 2010) a memorable battle against Yuriorkis Gamboa, Gamboa went down once in round eight and had two points deducted in round twelve for his dirty tactics; Salido went down twice in the twelfth round. The IBF title was at stake only for Gamboa as Salido had been stripped of it prior to the fight due to weighing more than ten pounds over the weight limit at a second weigh-in on the morning of the event. Salido is good and I’m almost certain this fight will be a classic.


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