Saturday, March 15, Juan Manuel Lopez (33-3) will look to revive his career in a rematch with Daniel Ponce De Leon (45-5). The bout will be held at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and televised on Showtime.
Promotionally, the night is being put on by Golden Promotions in which Danny Garcia vs. Maurcio Herrera will serve as the main event.
For Lopez, the match up is a must win as he is coming off a knockout loss to Mickey Garcia (34-0). Even more, the bout is being held in his native Puerto Rico in hopes that he will rise to the occasion with the support of his native people.
Interestingly, Lopez won the first encounter with De Leon in June of 2008, but is being deemed the underdog in this rematch due to the recent let down in his career. With two brutal wars with Orlando Salido in which he suffered knockout losses and another to Mickey Garcia, Lopez is in desperate need of showing the boxing world that he can still contend on a championship level.
On the other hand, De Leon is believed to have polished some of his skills and is expected to enter the ring this time with more confidence. In the first fight with Lopez, De Leon was defending his title, but was clearly caught cold as Lopez ended the fight a minute into the 1st round.
However, after the loss De Leon won seven straight and even fought Adrien Broner in a tough 10 round decision loss. Hence, De Leon's ability to compete with some of boxing's best has resulted in the belief by oddsmakers that De Leon will come out with a victory over a wore down Lopez.
Strategically, De Leon will surely be looking for the knockout as Lopez has shown that he has a very suspect chin. With 35 of De Leon's 45 victories coming by way of knockout, it is very possible that the boxing world could see this fight end early via knockout.
At the same time, one must not forget that Lopez has the power to end the night in his favor at any given point as well. With 30 of Lopez's 33 victories coming by way of knockout, it is certain that he is an offensive fighter with significant defensive flaws.
Consequently, the question will be whether Lopez has been through too many wars with a suspect chin that can no longer compete on a high level or whether he still has the skills to be high level challenger. Also, the boxing world will get to depict whether De Leon is truly a different fighter from the one seen six years ago.