Friday, July 8, 2011

What happened to ?JuanMa?? Arum says he was distracted

Juan Manuel Lopez showed some major holes in losing to Orlando Salido via eighth round TKO on Saturday night.

For an unbeaten champ, he's always been easy to hit and has even gone down on occasion, but it was shocking to see Orlando Salido find a home for both his overhand right and left hook so often.

Did he unveil "JuanMa" as an overrated fighter with a shaky chin or was Jim Gray onto something? Gray, the Showtime reporter, asked JuanMa about his marital issues before and after the fight. The former unbeaten champ shrugged off his impending split with wife Barbara de Jesus, but his promoter Bob Arum wasn't willing to.

"The distractions did the job. Look at Miguel Cotto, who has never been better since he left to train outside of Puerto Rico. And he doesn't get out of shape between fights," Arum said.

The veteran promoter said Lopez (30-1, 27 KOs) was massive between this fight and his last win in November over Rafael Marquez.

"That's what happened to this guy?.he was overweight. He was like 180 or 190 pounds when he was in the Philippines [for Manny Pacquiao's birthday party in December]. And I know that personal problems affected this boy," Arum said. "Boxing is a serious business and you have to be in great physical condition between fights, you have to have the best life between fights, and when you have training camp for a fight, like Cotto, you should leave the island."

The loss could be good news for boxing fans. Before the fight, JuanMa was talking about leaving the 126-pound division. Now he's got too much work to get done before a jump to 130.

He needs to avenge this loss and then make a superfight against Yuriorkis Gamboa. That could turn into a two or three fight series. If he smokes Gamboa, then it's time for Nonito Donaire. Any way you look at it, the top of the featherweight class should give us tremendous fights for the next few years unless promotional chaos screws it up.

Amazingly, even after getting destroyed by Salido, Lopez says he's sticking with the plan to leave the division.

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