Last night on the island of Puerto Rico, big time boxing took the forefront as native son Juan Manuel Lopez fought back from adversity to defeat Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Heavyweight Deontay Wilder established himself as potentially the next big thing coming out of the United States in boxing’s premier weight class with a first round KO of Malik Scott. Lopez was an underdog heading into the fight, and his stock had been diving for several years now, and Wilder had a coming out performance.
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For years, boxing’s marquee division of heavyweight has been dominated by Europeans, with few Americans even rising to challenge for the belt in the last few years. The American boxing heavyweight scene was bereft of hope, so Wilder who had risen to 30-0 with 30 KOs was already starting to get noticed. Scott who had his own gaudy 36-1-1 record going into the bout was supposed to be a test. With a first round KO, assume Wilder has passed the test and will be on to bigger and better things. In the past, his name has been linked to a potential math with the UK’s Tyson Fury, but certainly Wilder’s next match will see him trying to take down a top 10 opponent.
Juan Manuel Lopez got up off the canvas against Daniel Ponce De Leon and he took him out in the second round. For Lopez, it was a bit of redemption as he had been 3-3 in his last 6 fights and was generally considered to have seen better days. This opens up a lot of intriguing match-ups for Lopez, who picked up the WBO International super Featherweight title with the win. Up next could be the winner of the Bryan ‘Tiquito’ Vasquez vs Jose Felix Jr matchup slated for the undercard of the Manny-Pacquiao versus Timothy Bradley fight coming up in less than a month. The winner of that bout would bring with them an interim WBA World Super Featherweight title.