Former two time world champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez will face unbeaten Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas on July 12 as part of the show headlined by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez against Erislandy Lara to be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, in a Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) presentation broadcasted on Showtime Pay Per View.
Lopez (34-3, 31 KOs), who reigned as WBO superbantamweight and featherweight champion, will defend his WBO International junior lightweight title versus Vargas (19-0-1, 13 KOs), the #2 ranked by the WBO at 130 pounds division. Lopez is the WBO’s #4 ranked in the junior lighweights.
“It’s official, Juanma Lopez will fight against Francisco Vargas. This (Lopez vs. Vargas) is a fight in which the winner must have a shot at the WBO world title at 130 pounds. It’s another battle between Puerto Rico and Mexico and between two former Olympians (Lopez in 2004 and Vargas in 2008)”, said Peter Rivera, Vice-President of PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP) company representing Lopez. “It will also be one of the fights of the Canelo-Lara Pay Per View emission”.
Lopez, a former WBO world champion at 122 and 126 pounds, is coming off a major victory on March 15 when he knocked out Daniel Ponce de Leon in the second round in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Vargas, meanwhile, won an unanimous decision over Puerto Rican Abner Cotto on March 8 in the Canelo Alvarez against Alfredo “Perro” Angulo card in Las Vegas.
Lopez and Vargas will be part of the final stop of the promotional tour for the clash between Canelo Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KOs) and Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs) this Friday, May 9, in a press conference to be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Isla Verde, Carolina, Puerto Rico. Alvarez and Lara will be face to face before in press conferences in Los Angeles (Tuesday, May 6), San Antonio (Wednesday, May 7) and New York (Thursday, May 8).