JuanMa Lopez just can’t help himself — if there’s a brawl to be had, he’ll walk right into it. Francisco Vargas (above right, via) escorted him there Saturday on the Showtime pay-per-view undercard of Saul Alvarez-Erislandy Lara, and to his everlasting credit and detriment, JuanMa (above left) said, “sure.” The fight was stopped between the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
JuanMa has been a ton of fun for a long time, with power and vulnerability in roughly equal proportions. But he has been slipping since the Orlando Salido losses, to the point that some (including this writer) thought him shot. The Daniel Ponce De Leon victory headed off some of that talk, but it didn’t take long for it to reemerge. JuanMa took Vargas’ shots in the 1st, but by the 2nd he was having trouble with them.
And of course JuanMa’s response was to slug it out. Of course. It’s an impulse he has never resisted, ever. It created some excitement in the 2nd, but it also put him on the canvas toward the end of the 2nd, and then he stood up and went right back to the slugging. Between rounds, his head was limp. His corner halted it, wisely. He should halt his career.
Vargas becomes a little bit of a player at 130 pounds, but then, we need to keep in mind who he just beat. You can point to the Jerry Belmontes victory as evidence that he isn’t a one-trick pony, but then, 130 isn’t the deepest division, either, so maybe he can make moves.