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Orlando Salido-Juan Manuel Lopez II Tomorrow Night: Repeat Or Revenge?

By James Slater: When featherweights Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido met back in April of last year, Lopez was an unbeaten upcoming star who was defending the WBO title. Today, in light of Salido’s big upset stoppage win, it is the Mexican who is the champ and “Juanma’s” stock has fallen at least a little.

The “repeat or revenge” match will of course go ahead tomorrow night in Lopez’ homeland of Puerto Rico, the scene of the first fight. 31-year-old Salido, 37-11-2(25) has enjoyed two wins since the biggest night of his pro career: one title retention against Kenichi Yamaguchi (WTKO11) and, last time out on Dec. 17th 2011, an up from the floor non-title win over Weng Haya (WTKO8, Salido going down in the 3rd and 4th rounds).

28-year-old Lopez, 31-1(28) has fought just once since losing his belt and perfect record: a quick, 2nd-round blast out of Mike Oliver in October of last year. Both guys will be determined to win the return - Lopez to prove the loss was a fluke, Salido to prove it wasn’t; but it must be said how the older man looked surprisingly vulnerable against Haya. Can the powerful southpaw known as Juanma get his revenge? Well, the bookmakers feel Lopez will win back his belt tomorrow night.

According to a piece on Fightnews.com, punters can back Lopez at 2 to 1. Lopez is a -200 favourite to win according to Bet365.com, while the defending WBO champ is +163. Interestingly, the over/under is -150 that the fight will go more than 8-and-a-half rounds, while it’s +110 that the fight will go less than that.

A hugely intriguing fight, the loser of this one will have to take a big step back; especially if it’s Lopez. Two losses to the same guy can be devastating, and if Lopez were to lose again to Salido the stardom he wants and the massive fights he wants would fall by the wayside. I think the pressure is on Lopez right now.

Having home advantage will possibly prove to be a big factor in Lopez’ favour. Salido did say that in a return fight he would want to see Lopez travel to Mexico. Instead, the reigning and defending 126-pound champ has to travel once again. “Siri” has boxed in Puerto Rico twice before, however, and it didn’t bother his performance either time. We can expect another tough fight for both men, and Lopez is making no bones about it: promising how tomorrow’s fight will be an out-and-out war!

When they met this past April, Salido scored a 2011 Upset Of The Year candidate, with the fight also being a hugely exciting affair. In the return, I feel Lopez will get his revenge - by mid-rounds stoppage - in yet another thriller.

Article posted on 09.03.2012



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