After a giving former world champion Gerry Penalosa his first defeat by knockout in April 2009 and dispatching Oliver Lontchi last June, Puerto Rico’s boxing sensation Juan Manuel Lopez will once again put his WBO junior featherweight title on the line on October 10th in New York. Coming to the fight with a clean 26-0 record, 24 knockouts, Lopez will defend his title for the third time.
Challenger Rogers Mtagwa from Tanzania will try to take the belt from Lopez, but with a record of 26-12-2, it seems the Tanzanian has a huge assignment in his hands come fight night. That said, Mtagwa comes from three-win streak.
Bookers favor Lopez to easily win this bout against Mtagwa. And from the looks of it, chances for a Mtagwa upset is highly unlikely. It does not take a rocket scientist to say why Lopez will dominate and embarrass the Tanzanian challenger come fight night.
First, Lopez is gifted with sheer punching power. Even the great champion, Gerry "Fearless" Penalosa, who was never knocked out in his entire career, surrendered to the devastating onslaught conjured by the Puerto Rican (technically, it was Freddie Roach, Penalosa’s trainer, who dissuaded Penalosa from continuing the fight).
In addition to that, Lopez’s knockout rate is 92.3 percent, one of the highest knockout percentages in the lower weights. Second, the qualities of Lopez’s last three oppositions are far more superior in contrast to the opponents faced by Mtagwa.
Lopez last three wins were against Olivier Lontchi (18-1-2), Penalosa (54-7-2), and Sergio Manuel Medina (33-2).
All of them are top caliber fighters, with the exception of Lontchi, who is still young and has a lot to prove. Mtagwa’s last three bouts, all victories, were against Ricardo Medina (31-34-5), Tomas Villa (20-6-4), and Aldo Valtierra (25-11). From the records of their previous opponents, it is mighty clear who fought the best fighters.
Third, Lopez is fast as he is powerful. When speed and power combine, mayhem ensues. If you will be betting on this fight, bet on Lopez. He’s clearly cut to win this one hands down.