Celestino Caballero Wants Juanma Lopez

HOLLYWOOD, FL, July 2 – He owns half of the four recognized world championship belts in the super bantamweight division, is undefeated for over five years, with eight of his 13 wins coming by knockout, and with each of his nine successful title defenses, he has become more and more feared by his opposition at 122 pounds. So in a perfect world, the next logical fight for IBF / WBA champion Celestino Caballero would be a unification showdown with his WBO counterpart Juan Manuel Lopez, but we all know that boxing is far from perfect, and with Lopez’ team talking of fights with Yuriorkis Gamboa and a move up to the featherweight division, “Pelenchin” wonders if the fight fans’ dream fight will ever become a reality..

“I understand the business of boxing and I know that Lopez’ promoter has a plan for him that involves everybody but me,” said Caballero. “But if what I believe is true, Lopez wants more than easy fights; he wants to be the best in the world. The only way he can leave the super bantamweight division as the best is to beat me. There’s a lot of talk of Lopez being the next Wilfredo Gomez. Well, Lopez has to remember that Gomez didn’t move up to featherweight until he cleaned out everyone at 122 pounds. I guess we’ll find out soon if Lopez has ‘Bazooka’s fighting spirit.”

The 33-year old Caballero, a native of Colon, Panama who now makes his home in Panama City, is coming off two big wins – a four round stoppage of unbeaten IBF 122-pound champion Steve Molitor in November, and a decision victory over once-beaten top contender Jeffrey Mathebula. Now he wants Lopez, and he’s willing to go to Puerto Rico to get the fight.

“I traveled to Canada to beat Molitor, to Venezuela to beat (Lorenzo) Parra, Thailand to beat (Somsak) Sithchatchawal, and California to beat (Daniel) Ponce De Leon,” said Caballero. “To be a true world champion you must fight around the world, even if it means going to your opponent’s backyard. I will go to Puerto Rico to fight Lopez with no problem, and by the end of the fight, the fans will be cheering me when my hand is raised.”

Article posted on 03.07.2009

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