By Lee Bates
WBO junior featherweight champion Juan Manuel ‘Juanma’ Lopez of Puerto Rico (25-0, 23 KOs) defends his world title against Olivier Lontchi of Canada (18-0-2, 8 KOs) this Saturday, June 27th at the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Top Rank & PR Best Boxing (Ivan & Peter Rivera) are promoting Lopez who will be headlining his first pay-per-view. Lopez spoke on his quick return to the ring after his exciting fight with Gerry Penalosa nearly 2 months ago on April 25th, what he knows about Lontchi, and being in his first PPV main event.
How would you rate your preparation for this fight?
I had an excellent training camp and will enter this fight 100% mentally and physically prepared.
Any concerns coming into this bout so soon after your bout with Gerry Penalosa?
No concerns at all. My bout with Penalosa was a tough 10 rounds, but fortunately I was landing most of the punches that night. I’ve done this before when I defeated challenger Cesar Figueroa of Mexico in October 2008. I came right back less than 2 months later and defeated Argentina’s Sergio Medina to retain my title.
What type of fight do you expect from Lontchi?
I’m expecting a very tough challenge from Lontchi. He throws a large of volume of punches, has very good hand speed, and he is an undefeated fighter. I’m ready to meet his challenge.
Looking at the knockout percentages of you and Lontchi, would think you are the puncher in this bout? Is that how you see it?
Lontchi may not have a lot of knockouts on his record but I respect all fighters punching power. You never know how strong a fighter is until you get into the ring with them.
Anything to say in closing?
I encourage those who are unable to attend in person to watch the fight on PPV. The fans can expect to see me involved in another exciting fight.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Caesars Atlantic City, “Latin Fury 9″ will be broadcasted live on pay-per-view from the Adrian Phillips Ballroom, beginning at 9 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. PDT. Tickets are priced at $200, $100 and $50 and can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall box office by calling Ticketmaster (800)736-1420 or online at www.Ticketmaster.com. The pay-per-view telecast has a suggested retail price of $39.95 and will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. For “Latin Fury 9″ fight week updates, log on to www.toprank.com.