Can former champions Juan Manuel Lopez and Wilfredo Vazquez Junior still fight? We may or may not find out tomorrow night when the two meet in a very real and very intense all-Puerto Rican rivalry/grudge-match. Both men are way past what they once were – Juanma suffering some truly X-rated KO defeats over the last two or three years – but the genuine hatred they have for one another just might allow both warriors to raise their game and give fans one final, decent performance.
Lopez says he cannot wait to silence Vazquez Jnr, while his countryman says exactly the same thing. Both men have predicted, and would very much enjoy, a KO win. Fan interest is quite substantial – especially for two faded fighters – but some fans will stay away from the fight as they simply fear for the health of both veterans, Lopez’s especially.
It’s possible the two still proud ex-champs will entertain those fans who do attend or tune in (on pay-per-view) but it is equally likely a sickening KO will be witnessed. How much more can Juanma take? How much has Vazquez Jnr got left to offer?
Above all else, let’s hope both fighters get out of the ring safely and not too badly hurt tomorrow night. Worryingly, however, Lopez, 34-5(31) with all his defeats coming via stoppage, told RingTV.com that if he wins the 129-pound catch-weight fight he will “probably be making another run for a world title.”
Maybe it will be better in the long run if Vazquez Jnr, 24-6-1(19) beats Lopez, ending both their careers in the process.