Juanma Lopez Stops Penalosa

Juan Manuel LopezBy Ted Sares: - I will surprise Juan Manuel Lopez! --Penalosa - I will become the first to KO Penalosa! --Lopez

After watching Allan “Sweetness” Green throw a picture perfect left hook which put Carlos De Leon Jr. on Queer Street and set him up for a stoppage three knockdowns later, I thought I may have seen my quota of great stuff for the night. But then undefeated Carl “The Cobra” Froch made a huge statement by pulling out a thriller with 14 seconds to go in the twelfth round of his great fight with Jermain Taylor and that one boxing drama at its very best (including a great call by referee Michael Ortega). However, watching a game Gary “Fearless” Penalosa hang in for nine rounds against a highly skilled young punching machine called Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez was simply astonishing.

This was the drama of a rising star vs. a battle-tested veteran who has never been stopped let alone decked. He has been called a "Master Tactician," but tonight that moniker belonged to the rising star. If Penalosa’s only chance was to get Lopez into the late rounds to test his stamina and mettle, Lopez passed the test with an A..

Setting CompuBox records for power shots landed and punches thrown, Juanma simply overwhelmed the courageous and teak tough Filipino to win the WBO super bantamweight title as the partisan crowd roared its approval throughout. While “Fearless” (now 54-6-2) landed some solid counters and engaged in just enough fierce exchanges to stay in the fight, he was given the worst beat down of his long career. Finally, trainer Freddie Roach had no alternative but to stop the fight between the ninth and tenth stanzas. Indeed, it was painful to watch the old warrior sustain so many blows both to the body and head, but by the same token, he was in against a shooting star of the sport—and only shooting stars land 80 power punches in one round, particularly on a pro like Penalosa.

Displaying all-around strength, a solid chin, dazzling hand speed, punishing and heavy-handed combos, superb body work, great stamina, and incredible ring smarts, Juan Manuel Lopez (25-0) answered any lingering questions as to his growing stature.

In short, this was a great night of boxing.

Article posted on 26.04.2009

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