2014’s Fight of The Year? Juanma Lopez and Daniel Ponce de Leon gave us a mini-classic back in March

Daniel Ponce De Leon - Maybe the short and sweet, not to mention terrifically entertaining battle 130-pounders Juan Manuel Lopez and Daniel Ponce de Leon gave us this year should win the slugfest of the year distinction. Both men, their careers quite literally on the line, swapped leather, and traded knockdowns, in a manner befitting two prizefighters with everything on the line.

Maybe the short and sweet, not to mention terrifically entertaining battle 130-pounders Juan Manuel Lopez and Daniel Ponce de Leon gave us this year should win the slugfest of the year distinction. Both men, their careers quite literally on the line, swapped leather, and traded knockdowns, in a manner befitting two prizefighters with everything on the line.

You may have other fights in mind as your choice or choices for 2014’s FOTY, but lovers of a dramatic, hi-octane rumble with swiftly shifting momentums and a ton of fierce leather exchanged in just a handful of minutes will show as much affection and appreciation to this one as I do.

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As Advertised: Juanma Lopez and Daniel Ponce de Leon give us a mini-classic (but a controversial ending tarnishes things)

Going into the rematch fight, we knew super-featherweights Juan Manuel Lopez and Daniel Ponce de Leon would exchange bombs in a can’t miss fight. And last night in “Juanma’s” homeland of Puerto Rico, on a card that was headlined by Danny Garcia’s controversial points win over a determined Mauricio Herrera, we saw a blisteringly exciting battle that was, unfortunately, tarnished somewhat by yet more controversy; this controversy coming by way of a premature stoppage.

Back in 2008, a new star burst onto the world stage down at super-bantamweight, as Lopez iced defending WBO boss De Leon inside a round. A lot has happened to both power punching fighters since, and last night the rematch, up at 130-pounds, was largely seen as the last roll of the dice for both men, Lopez especially. Many experts, including Lopez’ former promoter Bob Arum, openly called for Juanma’s retirement after his TKO loss to Mikey Garcia last year. De Leon, who is the older man by three years at 33, was also looked at as a fine fighter who had seen better days, yet he was deemed to have had more left than his fellow southpaw.

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Garcia 139.75, Herrera 139.25: Weights

Daniel Ponce De Leon - WBA light welterweight champion Danny Garcia made weight on Friday for his title defense against Mauricio Herrera on Saturday night in Puerto Rico. Garcia is hoping to impress the Puerto Rican fans, many of which won’t be coming to the fight to see him.

WBA light welterweight champion Danny Garcia made weight on Friday for his title defense against Mauricio Herrera on Saturday night in Puerto Rico. Garcia is hoping to impress the Puerto Rican fans, many of which won’t be coming to the fight to see him.

They’ll be coming to see the undercard match-up between Juan Manuel Lopez and Daniel Ponce De Leon. Golden Boy Promotions chose Herrera for Garcia to fight in order to give Garcia a better chance of looking good than if he were to face someone that he’d have to struggle a little to beat. The idea here is to try and turn Danny into another Miguel Cotto type of attraction in Puerto Rico.

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Juanma Lopez, Ponce De Leon put their careers on the line in Saturday’s featured bout on Sho extreme

SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME® provides viewers across the country an opportunity to watch live undercard fights they would not otherwise be able to see. For the boxers, it provides oft-needed, national exposure.

Since the series began in February 2012, it has been a proverbial mixed bag of boxing match ups on SHO EXTREME, serving as a special lead-in to live SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® events on the network’s flagship channel, SHOWTIME®.

There have been familiar faces and household names, such as heavyweight Chris Arreola, to virtual unknowns, from Olympians and young prospects in six- and eight-round matches to established, well-known world-ranked contenders in 10-round scraps. Once on SHO EXTREME there was a world title fight — Light Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly versus Shawn Hawk.

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Danny Garcia, Mauricio Herrera, Deontay Wilder, Malik Scott, Juan Manuel Lopez and Daniel Ponce De Leon Training Camp Updates In Advance Of Their Respective March 15 Bouts in Puerto Rico

BAYAMON, P.R. (March 3, 2014) – Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, Top Lightweight Contender Mauricio Herrera, WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, heavyweight contender Malik “King” Scott, , WBO International Junior Lightweight Champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez and Former WBC Featherweight World Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon are deep in training camp for their respective March 15 bouts in Puerto Rico live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) and SHOWTIME EXTREME (7 p.m. ET/PT).

Here is what the fighters have to say about how their camps are going and how they feel about the night of action coming up on Saturday, March 15, at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez.

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Juan Manuel Lopez-Daniel Ponce De Leon to clash in rematch on Garcia-Herrera card in Puerto Rico

Daniel Ponce De Leon - A very interesting and potentially explosive card is all set to go down in Puerto Rico on March 15th. Topping the bill will be light-welterweight champ Danny Garcia, defending his Ring Magazine and WBA/WBC 140-pound belts against tough Mexican Mauricio Herrera. Also on the card will be the heavyweight meeting between puncher Deontay Wilder and boxer Malik Scott.

A very interesting and potentially explosive card is all set to go down in Puerto Rico on March 15th. Topping the bill will be light-welterweight champ Danny Garcia, defending his Ring Magazine and WBA/WBC 140-pound belts against tough Mexican Mauricio Herrera. Also on the card will be the heavyweight meeting between puncher Deontay Wilder and boxer Malik Scott.

Both these fights intrigue, yet the third fight confirmed for the card caught my eye. Remember back in the summer of 2008, when an unbeaten 25-year-old “Juanma” Lopez blasted onto the world stage with a bang in the form of a 1st-round KO over Mexico’s Daniel Ponce De Leon? Lopez of Puerto Rico snatched the WBO super-bantamweight belt with the win and superstardom seemed to be in his future. Things didn’t quite work out that way for the southpaw slugger, even if he did thrill millions of fans in his subsequent fights.

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Ponce De Leon wants Russell Jr. at 130 lbs.

russell43Former two division world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon (44-5, 35 KO’s) wants to face unbeaten #2 WBO, #3 WBA, #5 WBC, #8 IBF, featherweight contender Gary Russell Jr. (22-0, 13 KO’s) next on September 7th, according to The Record. De Leon, 32, was reportedly offered the fight and he definitely wants the fight, but at 130 lbs. [super featherweight], not featherweight.

De Leon said to The Record “I was offered Gary Russell Jr., and I want that fight but at 130. I’m going to fight on September 7…I hope Russell takes the fight, I already accepted it. Golden Boy wants the fight.”

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Alvarez stops Lopez; Maidana TKOs Soto-Karass; De Leon defeats Gonzalez

Daniel Ponce De Leon - (Photos: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME) By Rob Smith: In a positively sick mismatch that should have never been made in the first place, WBC junior middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KO's) absolutely annihilated welterweight Josesito Lopez (30-5, 18 KO's) by a 5th round TKO on Saturday night in one of Alvarez's easier title defenses at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.(Photos: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME) By Rob Smith: In a positively sick mismatch that should have never been made in the first place, WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KO’s) absolutely annihilated welterweight Josesito Lopez (30-5, 18 KO’s) by a 5th round TKO on Saturday night in one of Alvarez’s easier title defenses at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Alvarez knocked Lopez down three times, once in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds from body and head shots. Lopez, who looked soft in the midsection, had problems with Alvarez’s body shots. Alvarez obviously spotted the the coat of fat that Lopez had put on around his waist in moving up from welterweight in three months.

In the 5th, Alvarez finished off the hapless Lopez and referee Joe Cortez stepped in to halt the slaughter at 2:55 of the round.

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