By Jeff Zimmerman
Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank
Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) of Oxnard, Calif., former WBO junior featherweight and WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez (33-2, 30 KOs), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum were on hand in Dallas at a news conference to announce the June 15 HBO-televised clash between Garcia and Lopez at the American Airlines Center.
Juanma Lopez: It’s going to be a great fight. I’m fighting a great fighter in Mikey Garcia. I respect him a lot. I’ve known him for a long time. I know the quality off fighter he is and I want to thank him for giving me this opportunity. I’m not only fighting for a world title to become world champion again, but I want to prove to everyone that I belong fighting at this elite level. This is a very importunity fight for my career and my future. Maybe he’s not the strongest fighter I’m going to face, but he’s the smartest. We have to be just as smart as he is inside the ring.
Mikey Garcia: I know the fight’s not easy. I’m facing Juanma Lopez who is looking to reconquer his world championship, but as champion that’s the kind of fight you have to take and deal with. I don’t plan on losing my title. I plan on being champion for a very long time and I don’t want to lose my title on the very first title defense, so I’m prepping myself better than before and expecting the best Juanma to give a great fight. He’s going to come with everything to regain that title and I’m going to give everything to stay the champion.