The highly-anticipated rematch between WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido and former champion Juan Manuel Lopez takes place in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 10. The two met last April in one of the best fights of the year with Salido taking the title from Lopez on his home soil and handing him first defeat as a pro along the way.
The 31-year-old Salido of Mexico will carry his 37-11-2, 25 KOs record with him into the ring while Lopez at 31-1, 28 KOs will try to avenge his eighth-round knockout loss. However, even though he’s going to have the home crowd behind him he’s going to have to stay away from Salido’s right hand if he hopes to have any success.
The 28-year-old Lopez wanted a rematch right after the fight, but he’s been made to wait about a year before getting his chance to regain the title. In the meantime, Salido has defended his belt twice, against Weng Haya and Kenichi Yamaguchi. However, he struggled with Haya and was dropped twice during their bout in December.
Lopez has fought once since losing his title and knocked out Mike Oliver in the second round in October. He may have a little ring rust in the ring against Salido, but it’s doubtful that he’ll be going for a decision anyway. With 28 KOs in 31 wins, Lopez brings a lot of power into the ring with him, but Salido learned from their first encounter that he can hurt Lopez if he can reach him. This is why many fans are expecting another exciting slugfest.
When Lopez fought Salido last year he was considered to be one of the best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet, but the loss to a perceived journeyman fighter saw him tumble down those rankings. Lopez thanked Salido for the opportunity of winning his title back and especially for being willing to hold the bout back in Puerto Rico at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum.
However, many experts assume that Salido wants to earn some good money against Lopez before he loses his title to somebody else. Being knocked down twice by Haya made him realize he could be beaten while earning a small amount of money so he better take every big payday that comes his way.
Lopez said he knew Salido was a pretty tough fighter, but didn’t know just how tough until he got knocked out by him. He said he was beaten fair and square last year and offered no excuses for the loss. The loss did ruin his plans to fight Yuriorkis Gamboa though and Gamboa has since moved up in weight to the lightweight division and will take on Brandon Rios on April?14 for a lightweight championship.
Lopez said he has to be smarter this time around and use his boxing skills. Salido replied that he’ll knock Lopez out again and it’ll prove that his first win wasn’t a fluke. This is probably going to be another wild night in the ring, but look for Lopez to regain his title and set up a rubber match between the two.
Sportsbook Unibet.com has the current odds of Salido retaining his title at 2.25 and Lopez regaining it at 1.62. Visit Unibet.com to bet on this fight. The majority of sportsbooks that I looked at do not offer a line on this fight, so Unibet is definitely a good option if you are interested in wagering on this bout.
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