Former two time world champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez will face unbeaten Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas on July 12 as part of the PPV show headlined by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez against Erislandy Lara to be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Lopez (34-3, 31 KOs), who reigned as WBO super bantamweight and featherweight champion, will defend his WBO International junior lightweight title versus Vargas (19-0-1, 13 KOs), #2 ranked by the WBO in the 130lb division. Lopez is rated WBO #4.
“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.
Lopez 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 on 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 at 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).