Daniel Ponce De Leon To Face Juan Manuel Lopez On June 7th Card In Atlantic City

by James Slater: This coming June 7th, on the Kelly Pavlik-Gary Lockett card in Atlantic City, New Jersey, two very talented southpaw fighters collide for the WBO super bantamweight championship. The belt belongs to the chillingly hard punching Mexican, Daniel Ponce De Leon, but the unbeaten Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico will be doing his best to take it..

A fine amateur who represented his country at the 2004 Olympic games as well as winning a number of titles before turning pro, the 24-year-old southpaw has excellent pedigree. Currently 21-0(19) as a pro, Lopez is no slouch himself when it comes to knocking people out. Still, Ponce De Leon is something of a monster puncher at 122 pounds. This is not to suggest the champion KO's everyone he meets - some of Pone De Leon's recent fights have gone the full 12 rounds, after all - but he is one extremely dangerous fighter. Indeed, as soon as bell one rings, don't blink when the Mexican is in action. Ponce De Leon's one round icing of the capable Thai fighter Sod Looknongyangtoy back in July of 2006, for instance, was truly frightening.

Winning his world title in October of 2005 with a points win over the same Looknongyangtoy, Ponce De Leon has since made six successful defences. In his last fight, however, against Eduardo Escobedo, the champion was forced to go the full 12 rounds. Lopez will be hoping that this is the Ponce De Leon he faces on June 7th. The hard hitting champion has only four KO's that came past the halfway stage of a fight. Basically then, if you can get past the early rounds against him, you have a good chance of seeing the final bell. Of course, Lopez will not be satisfied with just that - he will want to win. Can he though?

Lopez is unbeaten, is the three years younger man at age 24, and has that fine amateur background to his name. Ponce De Leon, also a former Olympian, was a decent amateur himself, however, and of course starts favourite. Lopez simply has not met anyone quite like the champion - his win over former world title challenger Hugo Dianzo most likely being his best pro victory. With Ponce De Leon a KO is always a strong possibility, but with his speed and skill I think this fight will be another one that sees the huge puncher extended. Ponce De Leon to retain by unanimous decision.

Article posted on 23.04.2008

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