Juanma Too Much For Lontchi, Big Fights On The Horizon
By Moses Vered (June 30, 2009) Photo © German Villasenor
It wasn’t exactly what he planned for, but nonetheless Juan Manuel Lopez 26-0 (24) kept his perfect record intact after a successful albeit tougher than expected title defense against virtually unknown challenger Olivier Lontchi 18-1-2 (8) on Top Rank’s Latin Fury 9 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. The Puerto Rican sensation retained his WBO junior featherweight title after Lontchi’s corner stopped the fight at the end
of round 9.

The champion had some trouble coping with the challenger’s unorthodox style. Lontchi was constantly moving and clinching which disrupted the southpaw champion’s rhythm. Juanma kept stalking his opponent during the middle rounds, but was visibly frustrated with Lontchi’s continuous holding. Juanma got close to Lontchi in the 2nd round, landing crisp hard shots to the head and body. A short left hook dropped Lontchi near the ropes. The Montreal based Lontchi was game, attempting to fight back in spots but it was all Juan Manuel on this night. In the 9th round, Juan Manuel landed his money punch, a straight left down the pipe dropped Lontchi in the center of the ring. The challenger bravely rose to his feet and survived the round only to retire on his stool before the start of the10th. The 25-year-old victor voiced his frustration after the fight.

“He was very awkward, very difficult to fight,” Juan Manuel expressed to the media. “The way he was fighting he wasn’t really boxing he was running a lot more, he wasn’t really throwing punches. I didn’t feel like I was fighting him I felt like I was chasing him. I knew my strength would eventually get to him.”

Juan Manuel Lopez has numerous intriguing matchups. Big names like Raphael Marquez, Israel Vasquez, and Celestino Caballero are among just some of the various big fights that are available. A proposed showdown with flashy undefeated former Olympic gold medallist Yuriorkis Gamboa already has fight fans salivating. When asked about the possible match up, Juanma seemed excited to make it happen.

“I’m looking forward to it. I Hope he [Gamboa] keeps going, we keep going, that way when we actually fight, it will be a great event not just a great fight, but a great event, so that we can both showcase our stuff. He’s a great fighter. If we keep working, that fight will really be a big fight.” For boxing fans that fight can’t come soon enough.

All action super flyweight Jorge Arce 52-5-1 (39) got back in the win column after easily knocking out the Philippines’ Fernando Lumacad 18-2-2 (8) in the 3rd round. Arce was coming off of a disappointing loss to flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan. Lumacad never showed up for this one. A big overhand right from Arce dropped Lumacad 35 seconds into the second round. Lumacad did not seem like he wanted to continue as he took a knee for the entire ten count. This fight was a WBC super flyweight eliminator and puts Arce in line for an unlikely rematch with reigning champion Darchinyan.

Fight fans were saved from witnessing nine additional rounds of non-action when the fight between Yuri Foreman 27-0 (8) and former Contender participant, Cornelius Bundrage 29-4 (17), was stopped after an accidental head clash opened up a bad cut over Foreman’s right eye in the 3rd. The fight failed to go at least 4 rounds and was therefore ruled a no contest. Foreman is an extremely competent boxer but he is horribly boring to watch. Fans in attendance at Boardwalk Hall were booing the combatants 30 seconds into the fight as soon as Foreman began his usual hopping and jabbing. The fight was an IBF junior middleweight eliminator, so unfortunately, it might be rescheduled.

Andrey Tsurkan 26-5 (17) is all heart, but for the second consecutive fight, he took a bad beating. Fast rising contender Vanes Martirosyan 25-0 (15), punished Tsurkan throughout the fight finally forcing Tsurkan’s corner to stop the fight at the end of the 6th round. Martirosyan couldn’t miss as he brutally battered the game Tsurkan with sharp uppercuts and right hands. The undefeated Armenian is an exciting fighter to keep an eye on as he moves towards a title shot.

Other Results…

Decorated former Olympian Matt Korobov 7-0 (6) continued his impressive profession start by dismantling no-hoper Benjamin Diaz 9-3-2 (6) at 1:18 of round 1. Korobov is one of the hottest young prospects in boxing today, and with good reason, the kid has the goods to be great.

San Juan’s 6’6” cruiserweight, Carlos Negron 2-0 (2), made short work of Kenneth “Mr. Opportunity” George 9-2-1 (1), stopping him 1:18 into round 1.

Mario Santiago cruised to a unanimous decision victory over durable Gilbert Sanchez-Leon. Final scorecards read 78-74, 79-71, and 77-74, upping the Puerto Rican featherweight’s record to 20-1-1 (14). Sanchez-Leon falls to 21-7-2 (7).

Super lightweight Jeremy Bryan 11-0 (4) UD6 over Josh Beeman 4-3-2 (2).

Super lightweight Michael Torres 13-0 (7) UD6 over Humberto Tapia 13-11-1 (7).

Lightweights Angel Rodriguez 3-3-2 (2) and Hector Marengo fought to a 6 round draw.

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